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Call for Proposals

We digitized it — what’s next? Learning from and making use of digitized hidden collections.

The call for proposals for the 2022 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives Symposium closed on Monday, May 9. 

Event Details:

Dates: October 12-13, 2022
Location: The Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, Baltimore, MD
Affiliated Event CFPs: Separate calls are being issued for the 2022 DLF Forum (October 10-12) and associated preconference day Learn@DLF (October 9), as well as NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2022 (October 12-13), which will take place at the same venue.

— Session proposals are due by Monday, May 9, at 11:59pm Eastern Time. —


Proposals should be relevant to challenges today’s collecting institutions and organizations face as they digitize hidden collections and make them accessible to the people who need them. This Symposium will be a place to share not only achievements in digitization but also questions that point toward shared problems that need solutions.

Of particular interest are proposals that relate to the event’s theme (“We digitized it—what’s next? Learning from and making use of digitized hidden collections). Topics may include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Countering dominant narratives with digitized collections;
  • Using digitized collections to amplify unheard voices;
  • Principles and practices for inclusive description of digitized collections;
  • Exploring the meanings of “hidden” and “accessible” across collecting contexts and populations served;
  • Digitized collections as data;
  • Making digitized library, archives, and museum collections interoperable;
  • Facilitating community-centered engagement with and access to digitized collections;
  • Interconnecting digital and/or physical materials in “collections” within and across organizations; 
  • Addressing complex rights and ethical issues related to digitized collections;
  • Developing professional and organizational capacity through digitization;
  • Preparing students and other contingent labor for future employment through work with digitized collections;
  • Highlighting student and project staff achievements;
  • Assessing collections for digitization;
  • Assessing use and impact of digitized collections;
  • Building and maintaining equitable, authentic partnerships for digitization; 
  • Working with digitization units and/or external service providers;
  • Advocating for additional support for creating, preserving, and sharing digitized collections;
  • Adapting digitization workflows, outreach strategies, and partnerships in response to the pandemic;
  • Sustaining approaches to creating, preserving and sharing digitized content beyond the end of grant projects; or
  • Planning for the future

Presenter Affliation:

Any current or former recipient of a CLIR Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives award (principal investigator or project staff) is welcome to submit a proposal. Proposers may also invite others such as scholars, students, professionals, or community collaborators to contribute to their proposals and presentations, but each submission must come from a current or former member of a Digitizing Hidden Collections project team. 

Following the Symposium, presenters will be invited to submit papers to be published in a conference proceedings. Detailed guidelines for papers will be posted in advance of proposal decisions. 

Submissions Types:

  • 45-minute Panel: Moderated discussions (45 minutes total) revolving around a prominent issue or topic. Panels should include speakers who bring varied backgrounds and viewpoints to the topic, and preference will be given to proposals that thoughtfully bring together diverse voices. At least 10 minutes of every panel session should be reserved for audience questions. Panel sessions may include up to 5 participants, one of whom should serve as moderator. Interactive exchanges on next steps and possible community action are especially welcome.
    Conference Proceedings: Panelists will be invited to submit a jointly authored paper for the conference proceedings following the Symposium.
  • 45-minute DIY Session: Do you have an idea for a 45-minute session that doesn’t fit one of the above categories? Pitch it here. Proposed sessions and/or activities should be appropriate for an audience of 25-50 people.
  • 15-minute Paper: Written reflections/essays on one or more of the Symposium’s topics. Accepted authors will each have 15 minutes to present their papers at the Symposium, and will be grouped by the Planning Committee with others exploring similar ideas. Time will be reserved at the end of each group of three papers for questions and answers.
    Conference Proceedings: Panelists will be invited to submit their paper for the conference proceedings following the Symposium. Authors agree to submit their full papers for distribution among Symposium participants by October 5, 2022 (one week prior to the conference) and will have the opportunity to submit revised versions for publication in the conference proceedings. Up to 3 presenters will be permitted per paper, although larger teams of authors may be credited in the program and conference proceedings. 
  • Poster: Poster presenters will have the opportunity to interact with Symposium participants during the reception (on the evening of October 12) to discuss their poster topics and/or demonstrate tools or services they have developed or are using in their library or archives. Presenters will be responsible for printing and transporting their posters.
    Conference Proceedings: Digital copies of accepted posters will be requested by October 5, 2022 (one week prior to the conference) and presenters can opt to submit them for inclusion in the conference proceedings. More detailed instructions will be provided upon acceptance. 
  • 5-minute Demonstration Video: Describe your idea for a brief video demonstrating workflows, processes, how-tos, or lessons learned from Digitizing Hidden Collections projects. These will not be presented at the conference, but will be made available online and shared with conference attendees and the wider community. Further instructions will be provided upon acceptance.

Find a Collaborator:

Current or former members of Digitizing Hidden Collections project teams are encouraged to seek collaborators from among the more than 100 other projects funded by the program! Our 2022 CLIR Events Unofficial Program Sessions and Connections spreadsheet may assist you in connecting with other prospective presenters.

Note that the Program Committee and CLIR Staff do not monitor the document and it is not part of the official submission process.

Submission Guidelines:

Proposals of up to 250 words each (up to 500 words for panels) should be submitted using our online system. Proposals must include:

  • a title
  • name(s) and institutional affiliation of the proposer(s) and presenter(s)
  • the associated Hidden Collections project and year the grant was awarded (within the proposal description)
  • a short (50-word) abstract
  • All submissions are under a CC-BY 4.0 license, which allows for sharing and adaptation of content but which requires appropriate credit and an indication of any changes made by others. Presenters must agree to share their work under this license in the submission form.

Submissions Deadline: Monday, May 9, at 11:59pm Eastern Time.  

Members of the Symposium Planning Committee will review proposals and contribute to shaping the program.

Symposium Registration:

Presenters will be notified in June and will receive a discount on registration. Symposium attendance will be open to anyone with an interest in the above topics. Presenters, students, and current and former contributors to Digitizing Hidden Collections funded projects will have opportunities to apply for up to 60 travel fellowships. Further details about these opportunities will be provided this summer. 

The Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives program and the 2022 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives Symposium are made possible through the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Sign up for the CLIR grants mailing list or follow us on Twitter to receive updates on the event throughout 2022.

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