2021 AIC Annual Meeting - BPG/PMG Joint Session - Call for Papers

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Tuesday, 11 May, 2021 to Saturday, 15 May, 2021
Wednesday, 30 September, 2020

The Book and Paper Group (BPG) and Photographic Materials Group (PMG) of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) seek abstract submissions for a joint session to be held at the 49th Annual Meeting, scheduled to be held in Jacksonville, Florida, May 11 - 15, 2021.

A 1999 joint session of the AIC Photographic Materials Group (PMG) and the Book and Paper Group (BPG) at the 27th Annual Meeting of AIC culminated in the seminal publication Conservation of Scrapbooks and Albums (details here). This subject area remains an important area of overlapping interest and collaboration for book, paper, and photograph conservators working in library, archive, and museum settings.

Over the past few decades of practice, book conservation has seen a steady, gradual shift away from invasive treatment, which might include disbinding, washing, and re-sewing a bound volume, towards a more minimal approach to treatment that instead strives to keep bindings intact and preserve evidence conveyed through original binding elements. Bound albums and scrapbooks, however, present significant challenges in stabilization, storage, handling, and use that sometimes necessitate substantial intervention and change to the original object. Practical considerations for exhibition and safe storage may drive decisions to disbind album structures and store plates or prints individually.

Digital imaging technology was also introduced, and vastly improved on, over these decades. Digitization has become an integral part of preservation of these materials, opening up a variety of options and considerations that impact treatment decisions.
For this session, we invite presentations related to all aspects of the treatment of photographic albums, scrapbooks, plate-books, or similar materials. Special consideration will be given to talks with a focus on practical and ethical considerations that guide treatment decisions for objects and collections of this kind. Photographic albums and other visual materials make up an important component of natural history collections, and we welcome the input and perspective of our Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections (SPNHC) colleagues as part of the joint meeting between our organizations.

Questions to be investigated in the session might include:
• What meaning is conveyed through the context of the album or binding, or through the groupings of images contained?
• What is lost, and what is gained, through substantive changes to these structures or groupings?
• How do we balance practical considerations for storage, handling, and exhibition with the imperative to preserve original context?
• How can meaning and importance of original context be conveyed effectively and appropriately to curators and collection stakeholders?

How to submit an abstract:
To submit an abstract, please visit the please visit the AIC/SPNHC Joint Annual Meeting 2021 Call for Submissions site at the following link: www.culturalheritage.org/abstracts, or access the portal directly at https://flame.firebird.systems/AIC/AIC2021/MySubmissions. For detailed instructions for abstract submission and tips to help you navigate the submission tool, please visit: https://www.culturalheritage.org/events/annual-meeting/current-meeting/c....

AIC allows authors to identify three session types for consideration of their abstract during the review process. If you would like your abstract to be considered for this joint BPG/PMG session, please select "Joint BPG/PMG Session" as your first choice. When you make this selection, your abstract will automatically be considered for all BPG and PMG sessions as well.

The deadline for submission is Wednesday, September 30, 2020. Abstracts should be no more than 500 words. Your submission should also include a separate speaker bio of no more than 300 words.

Please contact Andrea Knowlton, BPG Program Chair (aknowlton.bpg@gmail.com) or Katie Sanderson, PMG Program Chair (programchair.pmg@gmail.com), with any questions related to this session.