The Archives for Learning and Education Section (ALES) is part of the Archives and Records Association (ARA) UK & Ireland.

The Section advocates for the use of archives in formal education and informal learning activities, supports its members’ to provide effective and innovative learning experiences and fosters and maintains links with other ARA Sections and Regions and related external groups. advocates for the use of archives in formal education and informal learning activities

If you’d like to get in touch, write a post, or make a suggestion please click here to contact us.

The Committee

Chair – Alexandra Healey

Project Archivist, Newcastle University Special Collections and Archives

After completing a few years as Secretary of the Section for New Professionals, I found myself in a new role as a Project Archivist at Newcastle University Special Collections and Archives. I was looking for CPD opportunities relating to teaching and learning with archives, and was offered the opportunity to Chair the rebooted Archives for Learning and Education Section (ALES) Committee.

I’ve been Chair of ALES since 2017, in which time we’ve delivered in person and online events, overseen production of an Accessible Learning Toolkit, and launched a regular blog and vlog discussing all things relating to archives and learning.

I still work at Newcastle University, where I co-lead delivery of our teaching and learning offer. My contribution to modules includes primary source research skills, digital humanities and rare book and archive collection management. I am a Registered Member of the ARA, and recently obtained Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy. I love chatting with the rest of the committee and our members about their experiences using archives to support learning.

Training Officer – Tessa Spencer

I joined the ALES Committee as a joint Training Officer in September 2017. For my day job, I’m an archivist in the Outreach and Learning team at the National Records of Scotland [LINK to: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/] where I have worked in various roles since 2002.

We’d be delighted to hear from our members for suggestions for topics for future ALES events, as well as from other ARA Sections and Regions and related external groups for opportunities to collaborate.

Treasurer – Laura Yeoman

Access and Digital Engagement Archivist, Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York

I joined the ALES committee as Treasurer when the section was revived in 2018. My role is to support the committee by bidding annually for funds for our work and processing the day to day expenses we incur. Whilst I’d had a break from roles within ARA, I was previously a secretary of the Business Records Group (now the Section for Business Records). I am also a mentor and assessor for the ARA CPD programme.

Since May 2021 I have been Access and Digital Engagement Archivist for the Borthwick Institute for Archives at the University of York. My work includes all forms of access and engagement, including teaching students at undergraduate and postgraduate level. My role also includes the management of the Borthwick’s medieval records, which I love!

Prior to joining the Borthwick I worked for Explore York Libraries and Archives (York’s city archive service) and at The Royal Bank of Scotland Group archives in Edinburgh (now NatWest Group archives).

SecretaryHarriet Patrick

Harriet originally joined the ALES committee as Secretary in 2019 in a maternity cover role, but has been ALES’ Secretary since 2021.

Harriet qualified with an MA in Archives and Records Management from UCL in 2011.  After qualifying, she worked in a museum archive for a year; and was later the Archivist (part-time) at The King’s School, Worcester for seven years.  Harriet has been the Assistant Archivist (part-time) at Corpus Christi College, Oxford since 2012.

Training Officer and Diversity Ally – Philip Milnes-Smith

Philip Milnes-Smith is a Registered Archivist, combining employment at Shakespeare’s Globe with freelance archive and oral history practice.  As well as volunteering on the ALES committee, he is one the Diversity and Inclusion Allies contributing to the Inclusive Cataloguing and Approaching Marginalised Communities workstreams.  He has an interest in disability history, collections and access, and is the current leader of the Accessibility working group. 

Communtications and Social Media Officer – Jennifer Hunt

I am a registered archivist working the school archives sector, I also curate and museum and look after antiquarian books. I joined the ALES committee in 2019 while working in the charity archives sector as the Social Media Officer. I look after the Twitter Feed @ARALearning
and the ARA Learning Blog. In 2021 we started filming a series of vlogs taking a behind the scenes look at education and learning projects in UK Archives.

I would love to hear interested to hear from followers and members about their ideas for blog and vlog topics in the future.

You can contact members of our committee by emailing ales@archive.org.uk