About ARLIS UK & Ireland  Annual Conferences

ARLIS UK & Ireland hosts an annual conference on art librarianship; the location is changeable and reflects the spread and diversity of art librarianship across the United Kingdom and Ireland. We encourage everyone to attend one of our conferences, and particularly to consider submitting a proposal to present- we want all of our conferences to provide a platform for all the voices involved in our profession, at home and abroad.

Please have a look at our conference write-ups to get a better idea of what to expect at an ARLIS UK & Ireland conference. If you are interested in attending one of our conferences (as an attendee or speaker) please also see our awards and scholarships page for funding opportunities.


ARLIS UK & Ireland 2022 Conference

Conference booking now open:

Conference website:

The Art Libraries Society UK & Ireland Annual Conference will be held on Thursday 14th July 2022, at M Shed, Bristol.The theme for this year’s conference is ‘What does it mean to be neutral? The role of art libraries in today’s culturally conflicted world’.The question of the neutrality of our libraries is more important than ever in our culturally conflicted society.  If the creation and distribution of knowledge is not neutral, where does it leave us as art library workers?In the light of important recent and relevant developments that have emerged – the Black Lives Matter movement and the foregrounding of debate on gender and LGBTQT+ issues; decolonising initiatives in academia and beyond; the move to digital provision and open access to information; critical engagement with information and its sources and the increasingly urgent issue of climate change –  many of us have reflected on and/or challenged the way in which we acquire, curate, promote and manage our art libraries and their collections.But are we perpetuating a certain bias? Is neutrality an idealistic concept that we should strive for, or could it be challenged? If so, what are the implications for us as library workers?

Past Conferences


ARLIS UK & Ireland 2020/2021 Conference

21-23 July 2021 (online)


The 2020 conference was postponed due to COVID-19 and ran in July 2021 as a virtual/online conference. 


ARLIS UK & Ireland 2019 Conference

Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 15-17 July 2019

ARLIS UK & Ireland 2018 Conference

London: Architectural Association, 26-27 July 2018

ARLIS UK & Ireland 2017 Conference

Dublin: National Gallery of Ireland/ Royal Irish Academy, 12-14 July 2017

[Please note there was no conference in 2016]

ARLIS UK & Ireland 2015 Conference

Cardiff, 15-17 July 2015

ARLIS UK & Ireland 2014 Conference

Manchester, 16-18 July 2014

ARLIS UK & Ireland 2013 Conference

Bristol, 10-12 July 2013