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Symposium Presenter Information

Symposium and Unconference Proceedings 

Thank you to everyone who presented at CLIR’s 2015 Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives Symposium and Unconference. Outcomes from the event will be published this summer in our online proceedings. Presenters have until May 1, 2015 to make paper revisions and submit summaries for the Unconference. Contributions should be submitted as Word documents, Powerpoint slides, or .jpg for images. Questions and submissions can be sent to Editor Cheryl Oestreicher (

  • Unconference workshop/discussion leaders: We encourage you to write a 1-2 page summary or blog post about your workshop/discussion; presentation slides can be submitted in addition or in lieu of a summary. The original guidelines for Unconference proposals can be found here.
  • Symposium presenters: For those who submitted papers prior to the conference, you may revise as needed. The original guidelines can be found below.

Guidelines for Symposium Papers

Papers should be submitted by February 13, 2015, to They should be 8-15 pages in length and include a title and brief abstract; the paper should also name the author or authors according to how they wish to be credited in the symposium proceedings. Papers need not be verbatim drafts of presentation speeches to be given at the symposium, but should instead be tailored for a reading audience of professionals working in cultural heritage institutions, scholars who use cultural heritage materials in their work, and students seeking to explore careers connected to cultural heritage. The use of images, tables, or charts to illustrate paper narratives is strongly encouraged.

We do not have rigid formatting parameters for our papers, since they may be reformatted later for our proceedings. However, we recommend papers to be double-spaced with approximately one inch margins and 12 point font. Please send papers as Microsoft Word documents; additional images can be sent as a PowerPoint slideshow.

Papers will be made available on the Schedule page of this website for the convenience of symposium participants as soon as possible after they are submitted. After the symposium, they will be compiled and edited for publication in an electronic proceedings, which will become available on CLIR’s website later in 2015.

If session presenters plan to give a more traditional panel presentation that includes a series of papers, or are planning to present responses to one another’s papers, each presenting participant should submit his or her own paper.

If presenters will be participating in a panel discussion, they may opt to submit a collaboratively written paper. The collaborative paper may be structured as individually written responses to a series of questions relevant to the topic of the group’s session.

Guidelines for Symposium Presentations

Presenters should elect to structure their symposium sessions in ways that best suit their topics, preferably allowing a maximum amount of time for engagement in discussion with other symposium participants. Presenters should expect up to 100 people to attend sessions. Registrants will for the most part be professionals working in cultural heritage institutions of all kinds, although participants will also include representatives of funding agencies, research organizations, and scholars and students with a special interest in working with rare and unique collections. Possible ways to organize the sessions are as follows:

  1. Traditional paper presentations followed by Q&A. A 5-minute introduction by an appointed moderator, followed by a series of 3 12-minute presentations, with 15 minutes left for discussion.
  2. Response papers. Panelists give short presentations in which they respond to one another’s papers (rather than presenting their own work), followed by 20-30 minutes for Q&A.
  3. Panel discussion. After brief introductions by an appointed moderator, each panelist gives a 5-minute statement summarizing the main points in his or her paper and/or his or her orientation to the topic. The moderator then leads panelists in a discussion by posing a series of 3-5 questions to the panelists in turn for 10-15 minutes, leaving approximately 20 minutes for Q&A with participants.

Selection of Proposals for the Symposium: All current and former participants in the 110 projects funded through Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program from 2008 to 2013 were invited to submit proposals for the symposium program in the summer of 2014. CLIR staff and program reviewers made selections from these proposals in order to assemble as varied and representative a range of topics as possible.


Information on reimbursements for presenters and CLIR’s travel policy can be found here.

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