New Ar­chives Card gets the go-ahead

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - ON THE RECORD -

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

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