Abstract Submission

Abstract Submission is Now Closed


Our theme will be ‘Climate and Crisis: Tackling It Together’.  

Our 2023 Conference took the theme ‘communities’ and to build on this we now want to address the major crises and challenges facing our communities and our profession, learning from our community and building stronger responses, together. The Climate Crisis is the challenge of an era with the responsibility to take action falling upon us all. Our profession must respond, learn from best practice and find new ways to contribute to the global effort. Our work faces other crises not least funding and resourcing challenges. We are better tackling this together too, and we want the conference to be a catalyst for this.


Areas for submissions might include:

  • How can we manage our collections and buildings to make the minimal impact on the environment? How can the exhortation in our professional code of ethics to do this be truly lived and practiced? There is growing expertise in building design and management across the sector, can we share and learn from this? It is not all about buildings, in what other ways can we support the fight against climate change, and do we fully understand the problem? How have organisations adjusted management policies as part of their response?
  • The carbon footprint of digital activity, not just preservation / storage but every single digital engagement from an email or tweet to an upload or download, is now being better understood. How is our sector responding, do we fully understand the challenges? 
  • What are the benefits of working to tackle climate crisis for our relationships with our users? How can we help the wider public to use our knowledge and the records we care for to care for the local, national and international environment? From individual tree preservation cases to long term understanding of climate data derived from archival records, where are the best places to engage with users on these challenging but critically important topics?
  • Sustainability of our work and our sector is also a massive issue for us. Repeated short term contracts based on short term funding can be a major challenge for services and professionals, also impacted our attempts to diversify and broaden access to the recordkeeping workforce. How have organisations tackled this problem, what can we do and learn together to avoid funding and workforce crisis? What other related issues should we make sure we consider head on, and seek to overcome?

These questions are only suggestive of potential areas that could be included, but the programme is really shaped by you! What would you like to say at #ARA2024 ?


While we can consider alternatives, it helps us to programme if you can suggest a proposal which fits one of the formats listed below. When you submit your proposal please give details of the format you would prefer or contact us for an informal discussion conference@archives.org.uk  

  • Individual contributions – presentations of 20 minutes, and if successful your proposal will be combined into a session with other speakers – these must be in person
  • Panel sessions – three to five speakers presenting related papers on a specific theme or topic. Please note that this year, as part of a pilot exercise, we will be able to accept panel session proposals where one speaker presents remotely, providing the remaining speakers on the panel are present in person. This only applies to proposals where a whole session (and not an individual paper) is proposed, and is designed to open the speaking opportunity to those who are not able to travel
  • 60 minute workshop – a longer session aimed at including a practical element as well as presentation – in person

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.

While we are making some content available to access online this year, and are offering the opportunity for one speaker on a panel to present to the Conference remotely, this is primarily an in-person event, with the ARA providing other opportunities for online-only training and development. If you submit a proposal, unless you are the individual member of a whole panel who is proposing to present remotely while your colleagues are with us in person, you should have a reasonable expectation that, if invited, you would be able to attend in person in Birmingham in August 2024 to make your contribution.

Key Dates

The submissions system will open on 13 November 2023 and close on Wednesday 10 January 2024.

Notification of invitations to speak are expected to be issued from week beginning 26 February 2024

The programme will be published shortly after that date and conference registration will open in March 2024.


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.

In addition, please note that speakers are eligible to apply for the regular Conference bursaries to support attendance at the wider conference. These are usually advertised in April/May each year. If invited, you will be asked to confirm your attendance as a speaker for the day you are asked to speak prior to the bursary round taking place, so please take this into account when planning.

Archives and Records Association (UK & Ireland)

Registered Charity in England and Wales: Charity No. 1041063 and in Scotland: Charity No. SC041671
For more information visit archives.org.uk


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