Winners of the 2023 Archives and Records Association Excellence Awards announced


01 September 2023
Award winners at the 2023 awards gala dinner in Belfast © Archives and Records Association
The winners of the Archives and Records Association Excellence Awards were announced at the Gala Dinner of the ARA Conference in Belfast yesterday.

The awards aim to ‘recognise excellence and contributions by individuals and teams’ in the record keeping sector. To celebrate the achievements of record keeping professionals and their contribution to society, ARA has four special awards: Distinguished Service Award (DSA), Record Keeper of the Year, Record Keeping Service of the Year and New Professional of the Year Award.


In 2023 over 1,000 votes were cast by the public resulting in the following awards being made:

  • Record keeping service of the Year – Jersey Archives
  • Record keeper of the Year – Louise Neilson for her work at Lothian Health Services Archive
  • New Professional of the Year – Fran Horner for her work at Heritage Quay, the Archives and Records Management Service for the University of Huddersfield.

Aideen Ireland, President of ARA said: ‘It is always good to find a reason to celebrate what is best about the record keeping sector and to encourage us all to strive for excellence and the ARA Excellence Awards provide a perfect opportunity to do just that. The scope of the awards means that we are presenting them to people who have only just begun their careers and to people who have been working in the sector for decades. It was particularly heartening to see the increased public participation this year, showing that people really do care about their archive and record services.’

Three awards were voted on by the public and over 1,000 votes were cast in all.

The Distinguished Service Award recognises individual conservators, archivists or records managers for career-long achievement and/or outstanding work, e.g. successful management/implementation of a project; external fundraising that has transformed a resource or service; significant improvements to service delivery. 

Distinguished Service Awards were given to three people:

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Antony Oliver for Distinguished Service in Archive Conservation

 Antony began his archives career in 1979, in 1999 he moved to the Sheffield City Archive where he is responsible for the conservation and preservation of the collections pertaining to the city of Sheffield, and the collections that have county wide significance.

Sally McInnes for Distinguished Service in Archives 

Sally is currently Head of Unique and Contemporary Content at The National Library of Wales.

Vicki Wilkinson for Distinguished Service in Archives and Records Management

Vicki is currently the Records Management Lead across Royal Bank of Scotland.

Full information on the criteria for each award and the history of the awards can be found on the ARA website.

(Report and image courtesy of the Archives and Records Association)

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