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DCDC19 Call for papers

Navigating the digital shift: practices and possibilities

March 2019 will see the 30th anniversary of Tim Berners-Lee’s seminal article, Information Management: A Proposal, which outlined his vision for a World Wide Web. Since then we have used the internet and digital technology in almost every aspect of our lives. With the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence we are seeing the rapid evolution of technology and applying it to the world around us, including within the information, research, and cultural sectors.

Archives, libraries, and museums have long championed the role of information technology within their respective organisations and sectors, from the implementation of electronic finding aids and the first online catalogues to the mass digitisation of collections to enable access and re-use. Augmented reality has brought museum objects into our living rooms, while the growth of electronic journals and ebooks has seen entire libraries at our fingertips. Archives, libraries, and museums have continually adapted their content and services to reflect the different ways people are using technology. As a result, we are now working not only as the custodians and curators of digital content, but as the creators of digital material, often in collaboration with academics, students, members of the public, artists, and a range of other groups. Web 3.0 presents numerous opportunities for archives, libraries, and museums to redesign services, engage with new audiences and work with existing groups, in different and exciting ways.

DCDC19 will explore the possibilities of the digital shift for collections, audience expectations, and professional practices. It seeks to go beyond recounting the huge change that the digital shift has represented, and to examine possibilities for the future. How can we reconcile the gathering of ever more detailed metrics around user behaviour and concerns over user privacy? At a time of information abundance, how can libraries and archives remain trusted and “go to” repositories in a crowded market place? How can we ensure the accuracy and authenticity of the digital record? How do our practices and institutional cultures need to evolve to respond to continuing technological change? And how can we track the impact that the availability of information and collections has on research and society more generally?




DCDC19 invites proposals on this year’s theme of ‘navigating the digital shift’ on any project involving archives, libraries, museums and other heritage and cultural organisations in partnership with each other, communities and the academic sector.

The main conference themes will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Rise of the machines: artificial intelligence, interpretation, and creativity
  • Digital inclusion: use of digital technology to increase engagement with collections amongst diverse communities and open up collections to new audiences
  • Internet of Things: augmenting and evaluating audience engagement
  • User insight and respecting data privacy
  • Google and the catalogue: equipping the researcher for 21st-century research
  • The record: authenticity and trust
  • The effect of the digital shift on collecting practices
  • Putting digital collections to work to enable digital scholarship and creativity
  • Scan it, save it, sell it?: funding, commercial opportunities and entrepreneurship
  • The challenge of born digital records: preservation, discoverability, and use
  • Navigating the shift in skills, practices, and professional culture in the digital age
  • Meaningful engagement: measures and metrics to chart the impact of digital collections
  • The challenge of discoverability of digital records

Within this year’s theme examples of funded collaborative projects between cultural heritage and academic organisations are especially welcome. In particular, it would be pertinent to hear about projects and case studies which can demonstrate impact and value at institutional, local, national or international level.

Download the DCDC19 CFP as a pdf document


The conference organisers invite abstracts for the delivery of 20-minute presentations. Where possible, papers should relate to the conference sub-themes listed above, but can also relate to other topics pertinent to the conference theme. 10 minutes will be allowed for questions after each presentation.


We welcome proposals for practical 90 minute workshops on the theme of the conference. All workshops should involve a high level of interactivity and/or training which should be clearly demonstrated in the abstract.

Long table

Following the highly successful introduction of a long table format to DCDC18, the organisers would like to invite submissions for long tables to DCDC19.

The long table is an experimental open public forum that is a hybrid performance, installation, roundtable discussion, and dinner party designed to facilitate dialogue by gathering together people with common interests.

Submission format

All submissions should be presented in the format detailed below. Submissions that do not adhere to these rules will be rejected without review.

  1. Name, job title and organisation of speaker/s
  2. Presentation/workshop title
  3. A summary of no more than 100 words (this will be printed in the conference programme)
  4. A more detailed abstract of no more than 300 words
  5. Any scheduling conflicts for speakers

Submissions should be sent to Melanie Cheung AND the National Archives’ Research Team on or before Friday, 26 April 2019. Submissions received after this date will not be considered.


DCDC19 Conference fees

It has always been the aim of the conference organisers to ensure DCDC is as inclusive as possible, and we have been delighted that past events have attracted delegates from all stages of their careers.

In order to sustain the quality of the conference we will charge a modest fee of £100 (+VAT and Eventbrite fees) for a full conference ticket and £60 (+VAT and Eventbrite fees) for a day ticket at DCDC19. We believe this amount will ensure the conference remains accessible for delegates from organisations of all sizes.

Please note that we will not be able to cover any expenses for speakers, however, we will offer up to two speakers per paper and three speakers per workshop a 50% discount on the conference fee (not including evening events).