The 10th International Conference on the History of Records and Archives (ICHORA) was held online during the week of 25-29 July 2022, hosted virtually by The National Archives (UK) and the Forum for Archives and Records Management Education and Research (FARMER).

The year 2022 marked the centenary of a number of important events that have significantly shaped recordkeeping in the hosts’ countries of the United Kingdom and Ireland. From the destruction of seven centuries of Ireland’s records in the Four Courts explosion in Dublin to the publication of Sir Hilary Jenkinson’s Manual of Archive Administration, the impact of the year 1922 is still being felt today through its legacies of loss and intellectual tradition. ICHORA 2022 is therefore shaped by a desire for both reflection and renewal.

The conference encouraged anyone interested in the practical ways that archives and records are communicated through time to do two things:

1. Discover and present stories about aspects of this practice or figures associated with it.

2. Reflect on recordkeeping historiography (the sources, techniques and theories that are used to study and shape the history of recordkeeping).


ICHORA 2022 programme

Monday 25 July

14:00 to 16:00 – Opening event

Opening remarks and instructions.

  • Geoffrey Yeo, Writing (Uncanonical) Archival Histories: Challenges and Opportunities

Followed by virtual reception/postcard session.

Tuesday 26 July

12:00 to 12:50 – Data histories

  • Sara Jorgensen, A Data Repository before its Time: NASA’s Space Life Sciences Archival Library (1975-1981) and the Evolution of Data Preservation and Reuse in the Life Sciences
  • Zanna Friberg, The interconnected recordkeeping histories of archaeological legacy records

14:00 to 15:15 – Reflecting on records and recordkeeping

  • Lucy Brownson, Odds, Ends and Ephemeral Exclusion in Archives
  • Cherish Watton, Community scrapbook competitions and grassroots recordkeeping in 1960s rural England
  • Ellen Engseth, Reading a House as an Archive

15:45 to 17:00 – Reflecting on recordkeepers

  • Ted Lee, A Brief History of Archival (Un-)Professionalism: Why Understanding How Recordkeepers Imagine Themselves Matters
  • Michael Marlatt, (In)visible: The Importance of Underrepresented Lived Experience in Studying the History of the Archivist
  • Wendy Cox, Archiving Women Archivists in the South African Archives

Wednesday 27 July

12:00 to 12:50 – How’s it going so far?

An informal session for catching up with others attending and sharing reflections so far.

14:00 to 15:15 – Reflecting on the shape(s) we give things

  • Krzystof Ziomek, History of the nachlass of Jan Pitoń, CM
  • Jennifer Douglas and Alexandra Alisaukas, #Receipts: Creation of Archive Evidence in the Lives of Girls and Women
  • Emma Phil Skoog, The significance of the autograph collection for the historical archives

15:45 to 17:15 – Reflecting on collecting and collectors

  • Heather MacNeil, Constructing an Archive of the English Reformation: the manuscript collections of Matthew Parker and Robert Cotton
  • Michael Riordan, The prosopography of early modern English archivists: a gap in our knowledge
  • Erik Nordberg, Personality over Policy: Collecting Records of American Business, Industry and Technology
  • Alida Green, Sian Pretorius-Nel and Tiffaney Morolong, Revolutionizing record retention: The case of the University of Pretoria Archives

Thursday 28 July

12:00 to 12:50 – Contested Histories

  • Anne Gilliland, From Partition of Ireland to Brexit and Beyond: Reflections on the Record of Cross-Border Community Experiences in Derry-Donegal
  • (From Panel Two) Kate Keane, The History of the Prisons Memory Archive in Northern Ireland

14:00 to 15:15 – Reflecting on historical understandings of records, archives and archivists in 20th-century Ireland (Panel Two)

  • Elizabeth Mullins, Writing the history of religious archiving in Ireland
  • Daniel Ayiotis, Writing the history of the Irish Military Archives
  • Lisa Collins Shortall, Historical perspectives on the creation of records about unmarried mothers and babies in 20th century Ireland

15:45 to 17:00 – Reflecting on recordkeeping histories

  • Charles Farrugia and Valeria Vanesio, Pioneers in Maltese Archives and Libraries. Reconstructing recordkeeping and archival thinking in 20th-century Malta
  • Claudio Ogass Bilbao, Troubling the History of Our Discipline: A Latin-American Archival Thinking?
  • James Lowry, (Critical) Intellectual History in Archival Studies

Friday 29 July

14:00 to 15:00 – Drawing to a close

An informal session for saying goodbye and sharing reflections on the conference as a whole.

Postcards from the Past (however distant or recent)

Image of black and white photographs on a table.

For the ‘Postcards from the Past’ stream, we collected submissions in the form of short stories about people, places, events or ideas from the history of recordkeeping (organisational or personal, written or oral etc) answering the following questions:

  • Is there someone whose contribution to the development of recordkeeping has been unrecognised?
  • Or is there another aspect to a familiar figure that is less well understood or discussed?
  • Who were the advocates and pioneers who worked to preserve records in your part of the world?
  • Are there specific places or objects that carry with them a long connection with the keeping of records?
  • What significant impacts on the evolution of local recordkeeping are unknown on the global stage?

The postcards are now available to read online.

We give our thanks to those who chose to share these stories with us. We hope you can both enjoy what is presented here, but also see this presentation as a prompt to reflect on all the other stories that remain untold.

Programme committee

  • Cleophas Ambira, President, Kenyan Archives and Records Management Association
  • Alan Butler, Associate Lecturer in Heritage, University of Plymouth
  • Vitor Manoel Marques da Fonseca, Associate Professor, Universidade Federal Fluminense
  • Fiorella Foscarini, Associate Professor, University of Toronto
  • Leisa Gibbons, Lecturer, Curtin University
  • Stanley H Griffin, Deputy Dean, The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus
  • Valerie Johnson, Director of Research & Collections, The National Archives
  • Elizabeth Lomas, Senior Lecturer in Information Governance, University College London
  • Elizabeth Mullins, Lecturer/Assistant Professor, University College Dublin
  • Ricky Punzalan, Associate Professor of Information, University of Michigan
  • Pimphot Seelakate, Lecturer, Chulalongkorn University
  • Anthea Seles, Secretary General, International Council on Archives
  • Hrvoje Stančić, Professor, University of Zagreb