Archaeology for all - Council for British Archaeology

Archaeology Matters

Future of societies forum

A discussion-based weekend forum was held in York in March 2013 for local archaeological and historical societies to explore common issues and share good practice. Now we are inviting everyone to take part.

CBA Future of societies Forum March 2013

Share the debate

Cuts to professional services and the localism agenda bring increasing opportunities for societies and community groups to support archaeology in their area.

The forum was developed to support local societies by stimulating debate on the role of the voluntary sector in archaeology in the 21st century. The CBA has published a discussion paper presenting the outcomes and circulated a survey to gather wider feedback.

How you can take part

Download our discussion paper and survey to discuss with committee members at your next meeting.

Complete the survey form and return it to us by email to: or post it to: CBA, St Mary's House, 66 Bootham, York YO30 7BZ.

The deadline for responses to feed into our report has passed but we would be interested to read your feedback if you would like to return a survey.

WGM 2013 programme (71.9K, .PDF)

Follow up forum 2014

The CBA wants to open up a conversation with societies active across the UK to explore how, together, we can continue to support archaeology in these challenging times.

Archaeological, historical and architectural societies, trusts and groups, and interested individuals, are invited to join us in spring 2014 for a follow up networking forum here in York.

Share knowledge with fellow society officers from across the UK and take part in practical training workshops and informal discussion.You can also find out about the CBA's project to develop a Local Heritage Network.

Forum date and venue to be announced shortly. Register your interest.

CBA WGM Panel discussion on value of societies
‘Long may the diversity of societies continue!’

Marilyn Palmer, Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society

The CBA and county societies

The origins of the Council for British Archaeology are closely linked to the county archaeological and historical societies, who were instrumental in setting up the CBA in 1944 to safeguard the historic environment in the years following the Second World War.

The CBA has evolved to become the lead body representing the public interest in archaeology. We provide a voice for societies and the voluntary sector in government and at the local level.

Our past and futures are inexorably linked. Through the forum and follow up discussions, the CBA aims to open up a two-way dialogue with local societies so we can work more closely together to guide, inform and sustain the future of archaeology.

How can we help you?

The forum feedback has been very positive, with participants enjoying the chance to hear others' views and make new contacts. To keep those conversations going, and start new ones, we are proposing to provide regular updates and promote an online community where societies can keep in touch and share ideas.

Your responses to the discussion paper will feed into the development of our website resource area for societies, where you can share guidance, case studies and best practice to encourage local action and participation.

We hope your society will get in touch to give us your feedback on the forum discussions and your role in the local heritage landscape.

We would also welcome your views on how we can support you further by increasing the benefits for societies through our organisational membership scheme.

Case study presentations

You can download speaker presentations from the forum and watch them on video.


You can watch case studies and keynote presentations from the Forum on the Forum YouTube channel.

Thank you!

The CBA would like to thank everyone who made the Forum happen, including our speakers and facilitators and representatives from county societies and community groups for generously sharing their views and ideas.

We would like to say a particular thank you to Rob Lennox for masterminding the live online interaction at the event and to Sarah Salem and Andrew Wright for giving up their weekend to help.

Live feedback

Societies were invited to attend the Future of societies forum online by 'joining' the WGM Facebook event

St William's College, York
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