Call for papers

We Love Records

Archives and Records Association UK & Ireland Annual Conference

2-4 September 2020, Chester, UK

Our 2018 #ARAGlasgowManifesto was a rallying cry for change within the sector while our 2019 #Recordkeeper3.0 conference indicated a real appetite to critically examine our profession and our beliefs. Who are ‘we’ and why should we ‘love records’?

Our 2020 conference will give us the opportunity to explore these questions and look at how record-keepers and records can make a difference in turbulent times through our key themes of Diversity, Advocacy and Sustainability.

Sessions will encompass the main areas of archives and records, conservation, digital preservation and information governance using our key themes: Diversity, Advocacy and Sustainability. Therefore, we want to see proposals which have a strong focus in these areas which have emerged from Conference feedback and communication with ARA members and stakeholders.


Diversity is a big issue and one which many of you feel very strongly about it. Rightly, you want to see progress that is fast, real and lasting.

In 2019 #Recordkeeper3.0 examined the profession and we want to take the debate forward in Chester by looking at records.

How do we increase diversity and representation in the records and what role do recordkeepers play in this process?

How can we represent if we are notrepresentative?

Recordkeepers can turn steps in the right direction to leading the charge!


We may know the value of records, but how do we go about spreading the message to others?

How do we convince depositors and potential depositors that we are trustworthy custodians of community memory and how do we ensure that we are?

How to we make the case for the necessary investment in staff, IT and projects?

Why are archives critical to society and why is proper records management important to businesses and organisations?

Reaching out to those who don’t know, don’t care or don’t want us is our challenge – let’s meet it!


If we can advocate about our diverse records, then what do we do to sustain them in the future? Whether it’s the energy consumption of data centres, the impact of appraisal in deciding what we keep, the need to develop passive archive storage, or the materials used for conservation, environmental impact is increasingly something that recordkeepers should consider.

We are a small sector but, as we know, no one is too small to make a difference!

These questions are only suggestive of potential areas that could be included. Now it’s over to you! Why not submit a proposal on something that you would like to have debated at #ARA2020.


We aim to accommodate different types of presentation. Some suggested formats are given below, but we are happy to consider alternatives. When you submit your proposal please give details of the format you would prefer or contact us for an informal discussion

  • Individual contributions – presentations of 20 minutes
  • Panel sessions – up to three speakers presenting related papers on a specific theme or topic
  • ‘30 minute makeover’ – standalone tutorials or smaller workshops
  • ‘60 minute workshops’ – more time for practical demonstrations
  • Lightning talks – pitch your big idea or burning issue in quick-fire five minute presentations
  • Posters – an opportunity to highlight your contribution in our poster session

Please remember:

  • We aim to devise a coherent programme, so please connect your proposal to the theme
  • We would like proposals that will stimulate debate
  • We want diverse panels of speakers.

If you have particular requirements (e.g. accessibility, interpretation, etc.) please let us know and we will make every effort to accommodate you.

Anyone who has experience or expertise in working with records can submit a paper. Contributions are welcomed from across the UK and Ireland, and from colleagues in the global recordkeeping community. And of course we welcome submissions from other sectors too.

How do I submit a proposal?

Please use this link to make a submission:

If you require assistance please contact

Key Dates

The deadline for submissions is Friday 20 December 2019

Notification of invitations to speak will be confirmed in the week beginning 10 February 2020

The programme will be published in the week beginning 17 February 2020 and conference registration will open


All speakers will receive free conference registration for the day on which they are presenting. We are unable to pay accommodation costs, but speakers will be reimbursed travel expenses up to a maximum of £100.

Our Conference Venue

Our venue for 2020 will be the Crowne Plaza Hotel, located in the centre of the historic city of Chester and a short walk from the railway station. The hotel was built in 1989 and all of the conference facilities are on a single floor with level access. There is also a health club onsite. As usual colleagues from ARA North West will be welcoming conference visitors and showcasing what the region has to offer from historic sites to eating and drinking.

We look forward to seeing you in Chester!

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