Upcoming Events

BRA Conference

The British Records Association’s Annual Conference 2023 is a one-day tantalising taste of the rich archival resources on the drinks industry in the UK.

Men and boys at a table drinking as a musician plays the lute. Engraving by A. Reindel, early 19th century, after A. Desenne after B. Manfredi, c. 1600. Wellcome Collection Reference: 26531i.

Distilling the Archives: Records of the Drinks Industry in the UK

Thursday 5th October 2023 09.30 – 17.30 BST

The Gallery 77 Cowcross Street London EC1M 6EL

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09.30 Registration and refreshments

09.45 Welcome


Morning Session A. What’s in the Archive? Discovering Collections.


10.00 Judith Hawley, Royal Holloway, University of London: Beefeater Gin: From family firm to big brand

10.25 Keith Mitchell, The National Archives: Government and Wine [provisional title]

10.50 Rachel MacGregor, Modern Records Centre University of Warwick: Archives on tap: drinks industry archives at the Modern Records Centre [prov title]

11.15-11.30 Morning break


Morning Session B. Novel perspectives.


11.30 Dr Robert Curry & Annabel Valentine, Oxford Brookes University: Changing perspectives on the brewing industry: bringing new social and historical angles to our collections for a contemporary audience [prov title]

11.55 Emma West, University of Birmingham: British brewers as patrons of the arts

12.20-12.45 Questions and discussion panel for morning sessions

12.45 Buffet lunch


1.30-2.00 BRA AGM


Afternoon Session A. Resurrecting distilleries through archives.


2.00 Samantha Case, Bacardi: The heart of Scotland: Celebrating 125 years of Aberfeldy Distillery

2.25 Joanne McKerchar, The Diageo Archive: The reawakening of Brora Distillery: How the Diageo Archive records allowed us to bring Brora Distillery back to life

2.50-3.15 Break for afternoon refreshments


Afternoon Session B. It’s all in the brewing!


3.15 Clair Titley, London Metropolitan Archives: Yards of ale in the archives: Rediscovering brewery records at London Metropolitan Archives

3.40 Mike Brown, Brewery History Society: Brewery history records of the past [prov title]

4.05 Hannah Dunmow, The Brewers’ Company: What’s drink got to do with it?

4.30-5.00 Questions and discussion panel for afternoon sessions

5.00-5.30 Conference round-up and close.


As well as focussing on specific breweries and distilleries our speakers will highlight the value of these collections for social, cultural and economic research.

*Conference fees include full catering for the day*

For any accessibility requirements please email our Secretary.


Past Events in 2023

Janette Harley Prize and Maurice Bond Memorial Lecture

The British Record’s Association 2023 Maurice Bond lecture was given at Lambeth Palace Library, London by Dr Andrew Flinn of the Department of Information Studies, University College London on Wednesday May 10th.

The 2022 Janette Harley Prize was awarded jointly to Dr Janet Weston (Centre for History in Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), and Charlie Barnes (Dead Earnest Theatre) for ‘Power and Protection – the history of the Court of Protection’, two short films and a website created as part of ‘Measuring Mental Capacity’, a research study funded by the Wellcome Trust.

More about the Janette Harley Prize can be found on the Prize’s webpage. Submissions are open until 31st July for the 2023 prize.

The Maurice Bond lecture is in memory of Maurice Bond OBE (1916-1983), former BRA Chair and Clerk of the Records at the House of Lords Record Office.