New Archives Card gets the go-ahead
The Archives and Records Association (ARA) will offer its new national Archives Card system from next year, after it was saved by last-minute support.
In May, the ARA urged local authorities to sign up to the Archives Card by the end of the month, because its current system, the County Archive Research Network (CARN), will expire on 30 November.
Both systems allow researchers to produce a reader’s ticket at participating archives, removing the need to bring identity and proof-of-address documents every time you visit. However, the ARA considers CARN to be no longer fit for purpose or compliant with data protection regulations.
It initially seemed that the Archives Card was not financially viable, after it failed to reach its target of 60 local authorities signing up by 31 May.
However, on 6 July the ARA confirmed that it will go ahead with the scheme after additional services joined following the deadline, and partners agreed to provide sponsorship.
ARA will now begin finalising the business planning and installing and testing the new software system. It will announce how researchers can apply for the Archives Card in the autumn.
John Chambers, CEO of ARA, said: “I would like to thank all the partner services that have signed up, as well as major sponsors like Ancestry, the Federation of Family History Societies and anonymous donors, plus everyone in the local history, family history and friends groups that encouraged local services to participate – and Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine.”
Family historians will be able to use the replacement card when visiting archives