The British Records Association (BRA) is a charity which aims to promote the preservation, understanding, accessibility and study of our recorded heritage for the public benefit. It is open to anyone interested in records and archives whether local historians, academics, professional archivists, or custodians and owners of collections, or simply those who are curious about the record of our past.
Records hold the nation’s memory; they reveal how we became what we are and they are our best guide to the future. We seek to add to the interpretation and appreciation of records, to promote their value to researchers and the wider public. An annual Harley Prize, in memory of Janette Harley, is presented for the best/most original piece of work published in a monograph, journal or magazine, or otherwise made publicly available (such as in a blog), which has promoted ‘the preservation, understanding, accessibility or study of archives’.
Records Preservation has been at the core of the Association’s activities since its foundation in 1932. The BRA has played a major role in raising awareness of the value of archives and threats to their survival. For many years, with external funding, the Association took in and distributed (mainly legal) records through its Records Preservation Section. The BRA is now working with partners to meet the challenges of the 21st Century and continue saving records at risk.
Events include an Annual Conference and ‘behind the scenes’ visits connected to our conference theme and to other archives throughout the year. Our annual Maurice Bond Memorial Lecture addresses the challenges facing our archival heritage and we participate and sponsor seminars and events that promote our aims.
Publications include our journal Archives, sent twice a year to members, and from 2019 also being published online by Liverpool University Press.