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Association of Canadian Archivists

Call for Submissions: Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) 2021 Virtual Conference

September 19, 2020

Theme: Home Improvement: Building archives through change
Date: June 8-11, 2021

The keepers of memory have many homes. Whether your role is as an archivist, community organizer, records manager, researcher, storykeeper, or data curator, we live in many layered places at once. There are the institutional homes where we work as stewards and preservers, where we teach and learn, and where we provide services and consult and collaborate with our communities. We have professional homes embodied by associations, academic programs, collaborative networks, and informal meetups. And this year, much of our work is taking place in our physical homes at kitchen tables, in home offices, and backyards.

Homes require maintenance if they are to last and continue to meet the needs of those who live in them. They need more than a welcome mat if they are to be truly open to new members. And the idea of home itself needs flexibility when home is not a safe or stable place for everyone. Since this year’s ACA conference will take place virtually from wherever your home may be in June 2021, we ask you to reflect on the improvements we must make to our many homes.

  • How can we build, improve, and maintain our institutional, professional, and personal homes to continue to meet the crucial needs of the present?
  • What concepts and practices in memory work need maintenance or renovation?
  • What should we tear down to make room for the new, and what should the new look like?
  • How can our homes be safer and more accessible, affordable, and welcoming?

Suggested topics:

  • Diversity, inclusion and community engagement initiatives, especially anti-racist work and projects contributing to decolonization, Indigenization and reconciliation
  • Activism, advocacy and outreach
  • Shifts in services, practices and priorities in response to the pandemic
  • Access and description renewal projects
  • Case studies in appraisal and deaccessioning
  • Working with (and beyond) legacy concepts, standards, procedures and systems
  • Institutional and professional responses to climate change
  • Building, maintaining and sustaining new workflows, methods and tools, especially for digital archives and digitization
  • Teaching and learning with archives online
  • The roles of emotion, empathy, and trauma in archival work
  • Issues of sustainability and precarity in the archival labour force

Submission Details

Deadline: November 16, 2020

Submission types:

  • Individual presentation (15 minutes)
  • Multi-speaker sessions, including complete sessions, panels and roundtables (45 minutes)
  • Posters (with virtual lightning round!)
  • Discussion and networking forums (1-3 hours)
  • Book club, sprint session, storytelling – creativity encouraged!


  • Individual presentations, multi-speaker sessions, forums and any other sessions: 250 word description
  • Posters: 100 word description

Additional details:

  • Submissions from BIPOC-identified individuals will be prioritized in alignment with the ACA’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion to ensure BIPOC voices are intentionally represented in our professional venues. To do so, please select the self-identification option in the proposal submission form.
  • There will be a separate call for submissions to the annual student voices session in December. Three submissions from this call will be selected by the program team and successful applicants will receive a monetary award from the ACA and complimentary conference registration. Additional submissions from this call may also be considered for the program. However, we highly encourage submissions from students as part of the general call!
  • Multiple submissions from the same individual will be considered but the program team will prioritize ensuring a diversity of voices are represented in the program.
  • Presentations will be recorded by default. Please contact the Program Team if you would like to opt out of having your paper or session recorded.

Questions or concerns? Contact the Program Team!

Program Team:

Grant Hurley (Chair)
Angela Beking
Jesse Boiteau
Ferrin Evans
Devon Mordell
Amanda Oliver (Education Committee Liaison)
Juanita Rossiter
Emily Sommers
Alexandra Wieland

(Via Association of Canadian Archivists)

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