Friday, 5 January 2018

2017 ARCS (Association of Registrars and Collections Specialists) Conference

2017 Biennial Conference, November 3-5 Vancouver, BC

I was incredibly fortunate to be assigned one of two bursaries offered by the UKRG/Blackwall Green to attend the ARCS conference held in Vancouver last month.

Welcoming Address (day one)
ARCS are a relatively young organisation, only 5 years old but have a large membership of over 1,400 members from more than 33 countries. Its mission is to represent and promote Registrars and Collections Specialists nationally and internationally, to educate them in the professional best practices of registration and collections care, and to facilitate communication and networking. Upon registering and hearing that well over 700 people were attending the 3 day event it was clear there would be plenty of opportunities for this!

As well as great networking opportunities the conference had an excellent combination of talks on offer. The presentation about Heritage Without Borders and some case studies about repatriation projects were particularly inspiring. There were also very practical sessions which were useful for me such as ‘Working with artists from contract to close’ and ‘Beyond the Hard Drive: A Primer on Acquiring Digital Artworks’. The subject of managing born digital material was given quite a lot of focus over the three days and it was helpful to listen to some of the talks and feel reassured that my own organisation was following suit in this area.

UK Colleagues gather outside the conference room
A recurring theme from many of the presentations was the message that we are rarely alone in our decision making and that it is really important to reach out to colleagues and liaise with other institutions if you need to.


Alice Rymill, Registrar, Bristol Museums and Art Gallery

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