Skip navigation

Is there a democratic deficit in archives?


Northumbria University

This conference, which is being run with support from the British Records Association, will explore the issues surrounding the question raised by Professor Lucas at the 2015 Northumbria Conference on archives and records – Is there a democracy deficit in the way records are managed and selected for archives? In the developing world, records are vital tools in the fight against corruption and in the struggle for development. They are the essential guarantee for 'the rule of law'. In the UK, there is public oversight of the process for releasing official records via the Advisory Council on National Records and Archives and the Information Commissioner, but there is no oversight of the creation, selection or disposition of records.

The conference will begin by looking at the needs of the future generation of users, it will then discuss the vital issues of records management in developing countries. It will consider the importance of records in the investigation of tragedies and transgressions. It will explore how new ideas about the way records and archives should be created, including co-creation and memory boxes have emerged from tragedies and transgression. It will also consider the impact of recent government initiatives in addressing shortcomings in record creation and disposal – Sir Alex Allan’s review of digital records and the independent cross-party review of Freedom of Information. Finally it will turn to the question of how we can apply democracy to the creation and selection of records and what happens when things go wrong.

The conference will be of interest to members of civil society and information sharing groups who are concerned with democratic access to the use of information and the way in which government information can be used to monitor and challenge the executive. It will also be of interest to archivists and records managers who are faced with these issues on a daily basis and also to historians and other users of archives who wish to contribute to the debate about the creation of and access to their sources. An objective of the conference, just like last year's, is to encourage dialogue between stakeholders, who in our experience often talk past each other.


The delegate rate for this conference is £75. This rate includes the full conference with hospitality as indicated in the below programme.

Please book a place at this conference by using the Book Now button above.







Conference Programme 



Please find recommendations for accommodation for this conference. This accommodation is recommended due to location to Northumbria's City Campus and Newcastle Railway Station.

Premier Inn, New Bridge Street - A 5 minute walk from Northumbria University, City Campus

Mercure Hotel, Newcastle City Centre - Located opposite Newcastle Railway Station and a 15 minute walk to Northumbria University, City Campus

More information on travelling to Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne


Event Details

Northumbria University
The Great Hall
Sutherland Building
Newcastle upon Tyne


a sign in front of a crowd

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.

a person sitting at a table

Order your prospectus

If you would like to know more about our courses, or life in general as a student at Northumbria, then we can help you.

Latest News and Features

Professor Ben Bin Xu, expert in materials science from the University’s Department of Mechanical and Construction Engineering.
Right Honourable Kevan Jones MP presenting at Northumbria university's Newcastle Business School
Help to Grow Management event at BALTIC marking the one-year anniversary of its 'Why Small Business Matters' podcast with a real time episode
a tall building
Matty GarmGems

Back to top