dcdc organisers

DCDC21 :: virtual conference :: 28 June – 2 July 2021

Catalysts for change: transforming our practices, collections, and communities through times of crisis

DCDC21 will explore how crisis can act as a catalyst for change within libraries, archives, museums, and cultural organisations. It will explore the impact that crisis can have on working practices, collections, and audience engagement, and how periods of turbulence can lead to new opportunities for research and collaboration. It will seek to examine how cultural heritage organisations can look beyond times of crisis and foster innovation and collaboration in their institutions and communities.

DCDC stands for Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities. We are a cross-sectoral conference, hosted by The National Archives, RLUK and Jisc, that brings together the GLAMA sectors (galleries, libraries, archives, museums and academia) to shine a light on our shared experiences, innovations, interests and concerns.


DCDC21 is supported by

We are pleased to be supported by Wellcome and Wellcome Collection for DCDC21


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A little about DCDC…


We support collections, wherever they are held.

Our ethos is open, inclusive and collaborative, and each year we are proud to bring together an unparalleled variety of experiences drawn from across the GLAM and research sectors, from across the UK, Europe, and further afield.

DCDC welcomes individuals from all backgrounds, career stages, and sectors, and we keep our fees low to ensure that we are accessible to colleagues from smaller organisations, and also emerging professionals, early-career researchers, and postgraduates.

We’re excited that DCDC21 will be the first fully virtual DCDC Conference. Although we will miss seeing everyone in person, we are looking forward to how the digital experience will open up DCDC to new voices, and bring more stories and perspectives to the DCDC community.

2021 Call for papers

In the midst of an extraordinary time in history, cultural heritage organisations across the globe are facing unprecedented changes and challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic, political isolationism and disruption, and a long spotlight cast by the Black Lives Matter movement on societal and systemic inequalities are all confronting the ways we work and engage with one another. These events are forcing a reassessment of our place in, and our relationship with, society at large.

The response to recent events has been as varied as the sector itself. Libraries, archives and museums swiftly responded to their communities’ changing needs through adapting their offerings and fostering a spirit of collaboration, innovation and engagement in the digital environment. Digitised and born-digital collections and resources have been a key service in support of scholarship, teaching and the wellbeing of society. Digital initiatives and campaigns have highlighted collections, engaged audiences in creative ways, and promoted proactive collaboration. At the same time, not all organisations have been able to respond in the same way, and the emphasis on digital solutions has highlighted the digital divide between institutions and users, and existing inequalities in digital infrastructure.

DCDC21 invites proposals on the theme of ‘catalysts for change’ on any project or initiative involving archives, libraries, museums and other heritage and cultural organisations in partnership with each other, communities and the academic sector.

** The call for papers deadline has now moved to 22 January 2021


Where and when will DCDC21 take place?

DCDC21 will be a fully virtual conference that will be held from 28 June – 2 July 2021.

What are the DCDC21 conference fees?

We have not yet determined the pricing for DCDC21, but we will post information up on this website as soon as we are able to. In the event that there will be a charge we can confirm that speakers will receive free entry to the conference.

Who can submit to the call for papers?

We welcome submissions from anyone with a professional interest in this year’s theme. There are no geographical or other such restrictions applying.

What are the sponsor opportunities at DCDC21?

We will announce sponsor opportunities soon. In the meantime, please do get in touch with Melanie Cheung to speak in general about sponsorship of the event.

How can I register for DCDC21?

We will open registration for the conference in 2021. Please keep checking back here, or sign up to our mailing list to be kept up-to-date with DCDC news.

Will there be any bursaries for DCDC21?

We are actively looking into options for providing bursaries and will make details available ahead of registration on this website, so please keep checking back here.

  • “Listening to speakers and talking to delegates gives me ideas for future projects; solidifies goals for the future and, most importantly, reignites my enthusiasm for our role in studying the past, the present and influencing the future. This is a great conference for those at the beginning of their careers as well as those like myself who manage services.”

  • “The conference inspired me to look into new innovations and also increased my confidence to pursue and shout about my own work. As always, it’s great to hear about peoples’ experiences – both positive and negative.”

  • “Catching up with old friends, making new ones and the opportunity to discuss best practice and explore collaborative opportunities with fellow professionals was great.”

  • “The essential conference. This is the single most useful and inspiring professional event that I attend.”

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