I wonder if members know about the demise of the County Archive Research Network (CARN) card last November. I am planning my annual visit to Dorset and thought I would get whatever has replaced it. After looking on the Archives and Records Association (ARA) website and finding no link to register for the proposed replacement scheme, I noticed that it is intended that the new scheme will be officially announced in April. I could find no information on what to do in the meantime or if the scheme is delayed. I contacted Dorset History Centre. Apparently so far nothing has been finalised. I suspect that not enough archive services have yet come forward to join in.

The following may be stating the obvious but if you are intending to visit an archive this year,

  1. Check with the archive you are proposing to use what their arrangements for access are before you visit.
  2. If there is no replacement CARN scheme in place, email them about what you need to do to gain access- some may have decided not to join anyway and have an alternative system.
  3. Ask if you can still use your CARN card (assuming it has a valid date and hasn’t expired!)
  4. Take some official id with you (driving licence, passport and utility bill with name and address) just in case!

Jan Condon