Digital Archives in the Commonwealth Summit

George Oberle's picture
Call for Papers
October 1, 2019
United States
Subject Fields: 
Archival Science, Digital Humanities, Library and Information Science, Local History, Public History

Call for Proposals

Digital Archives in the Commonwealth Summit

The Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA

December 6, 2019


The Digital Archives in the Commonwealth Summit is an annual gathering of scholars, librarians, archivists, technologists, museum curators, and students who are engaged in the creation of digital archives and integrated research platforms. The Summit aims to highlight innovative projects and methodological frameworks in the Commonwealth of Virginia by fostering a collaborative dialogue among its participants. The Summit is an ideal forum for demonstrating advanced projects, conceptualizing new initiatives, and everything in between.

The 2019 Summit is a joint effort between the University of Virginia Law Library, the Library of Virginia, George Mason University, and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington. It is an opportunity to present past, current, or ongoing digital archives-based projects and to explore the practical, theoretical, and methodological issues at the intersection of archival practice, scholarly research, and pedagogy.

We welcome proposals for topics, panels, and workshops as well as participants for 5-minute lightning round project demonstrations.

Virginia, 1619-2019

We are especially interested in projects that address the legacies of slavery and freedom in Virginia. 2019 marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of both the first enslaved Africans at Jamestown and the creation of the Virginia House of Burgesses. We welcome proposals that critically engage with the themes of slavery, race, representative government, and historical memory since the colonial era.

More broadly, the Summit engages with the following topics:

  • How do digital surrogates change our interpretation, use, or understanding of physical materials?
  • New techniques of interfacing, indexing, and discovering content within collections.
  • Methods of expanding access, assessing public engagement, and promoting digital archives projects.
  • New models of description, interpretation, or analysis of digital archives.
  • The inclusion of critical archives theory in archival practice, such as encouraging a focus on collecting and highlighting materials from understudied subjects and persons, opening collections to new audiences and methods of interpretation, or discussions the privileged role archives play in historical memory making.
  • The value of digitization in terms of the preservation of the cultural record.
  • Discussions on the convergence of technologists, archivists, and scholars inside and outside the archives, particularly regarding collaborative methods of selecting, processing, interpreting, and teaching with collections and digital archives.
  • Institutional issues surrounding funding, prioritization, collaboration, or the digital humanities.
  • The technological underpinnings of digital archives creation including digitization methods, transcription, development of data models, standards-based metadata, hosting solutions, data management, the application of empirical data techniques, and data visualization.
  • Digital archives as pedagogical instruments in classroom instruction and public engagement. 

More information and submission instructions can be found at 
Please submit proposals by October 1, 2019.

Contact Info: 
More information and submission instructions can be found at
Or email George Oberle
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