ARLIS/UK & Ireland 2019 call for papers

Call for Papers – ARLIS/UK & Ireland Glasgow Conference 2019

We are pleased to announce the Art Libraries Society UK & Ireland will hold its annual conference on July 15th-17th 2019 at the University of Glasgow.

This year is the 50th anniversary of ARLIS so we want to focus some of the discussion on ARLIS itself and also on some very important current issues and practices, so we have decided to call out for papers and presentations that fit the following themes:

  • 50 years of art librarianship (e.g. the impact and history of ARLIS; art librarian networks; changing role of the art librarian)
  • Authenticity and restoration and the role of the librarian (e.g. Research support for provenance research on art works; targeted information provision to inform restoration and conservation projects)
  • Practice Research and the role of the library (e.g. documenting the process and impact of practice research, challenges for art libraries around REF 2021)
  • Revealing our hidden collections through digitisation and preservation (e.g. search and discovery innovations, opening up access to special collections, etc.)and
  • How are art librarians responding to the ever changing world of art education?
  • Enabling the academic literacies of art library users (challenges and successes in visual literacy instruction, digital literacy, metaliteracy, etc.)
  • Developing and designing library buildings and spaces for 21st century art education
  • Strategic positioning of art libraries (e.g. how do libraries influence their institutions; measurement of impact and value)
  • Innovation for public engagement (art libraries and user communities; visibility and use of art libraries in public spheres)
  • Critical (art) librarianship perspectives (e.g. art libraries leading thinking around critical librarianship; how art libraries encourage and support the diversity agenda, etc.)


Therefore we invite proposals from those engaged with any aspect of arts librarianship or archival practice and from all career stages including students, emerging professionals and non-professionals and those working in related fields. We welcome contributions from scholars, artists and makers, activists and thinkers as well as cross-disciplinary proposals of relevance to the profession.

The format of the conference will include full presentations, shorter lightning talks and workshops.

Presentations – Full presentations will be half an hour in length and include time for questions. Presentations will be grouped within the conference themes.

Workshops –  Conference workshops will be 45 minutes in length and must be interactive, and relevant to one of the conference themes. They are an opportunity to share learning through doing and discussion. Please include in the proposal a clear plan of how the workshop will be delivered, any equipment that will be required and how this will be provided and what you hope the participants to gain from taking part.

Posters – We are delighted to be offering poster presentations this year, as an alternative to full presentations and workshops. Standard conference display boards (size A0) will be available and poster presenters are encouraged to prepare visual poster representations of their innovation or research, in keeping with the conference theme. Time will be allocated for delegates to view posters and there will be prizes awarded in this category of presentations.

Lightning Talks – must be no more than 10 minutes and consisting of no more than 10 slides. Topics might include new projects, ideas, research or a case study able to be adequately introduced in a short space of time. The 10-minute time limit will be enforced and will be followed by an opportunity for questions.  Lightning talks are a good opportunity for those new to conference presentations such as those presenting dissertation research, and can also be a forum for experimentation and testing ideas. Whilst fitting within the conference themes would be preferable, lightning talks can cover different topics if relevant to contemporary art librarianship

The Submission Process

All proposals must include:

  • Title of the paper/workshop/poster/lightning
  • Author(s) of the paper
  • Type of proposal: Presentation, workshop, poster or lightning talk
  • Paper abstract (500 words maximum for presentations and workshops, 300 words maximum for posters and lightning talks))
  • Speaker’s name, professional or organisational affiliation (if any) and email address
  • Biographical note on the speaker (100 words maximum)


All proposals must be submitted by email to Ann Cameron ( no later than Monday 25th of February 2019.

The e-mail subject line should read “ARLIS UK & Ireland Conference 2019”.

We will notify successful applicants by week beginning 4th March.

The Conference Working Party may suggest amendments to proposals and are keen to offer guidance and support to potential presenters.

Please note: All expenses, including registration for the conference, travel, accommodations, etc., are the responsibility of the authors/presenters. Fees for the 2019 conference are yet to be set but effort will be made to make an affordable concessionary rate for current students and unwaged individuals.

Submissions will be reviewed by the Conference Working Party according to the following selection criteria:

  • Relevance to conference themes
  • Interest and freshness of perspective
  • Informational content and clarity of argument
  • The provision or enhancement of knowledge, expertise, ideas and inspiration


While proposals will be judged on their own merit, considerations of fit with the range of other proposals will help us deliver a varied, coherent and dynamic conference

If a paper has previously been delivered elsewhere the version presented at ARLIS UK and Ireland 2019 must significantly differ from the earlier version


Excluded Perspectives Fund

Conversations within a specialist sector can become insular and may not reflect a diversity of voices contributing to the profession.  Numerous factors can lead to exclusions from contributing. In response we have initiated a fund in the hope of going a small distance towards removing some of the barriers to access and participation. If you feel your voice hasn’t been part of the conversation and would like to present at the conference but are unable to do so because of the cost please clearly state on your proposal that you would like to be considered for this fund. We will assess applications in good faith and on the merit of how the proposal contributes to an engaging conference for all. For successful applicants, we will waive the conference fee and offer a nominal honorarium of £50. Due to scarce funds there are a limited number of funded places available, and other expenses, such as travel and accommodation, cannot be met.