ARCHIVES 2015: Call for Session Proposals

And now for something a little different …

With a mandate from the Council and the membership at large to experiment with new ideas, SAA is shaking things up for its 79th Annual Meeting! The most obvious change is the venue itself: We will be meeting at the Cleveland Convention Center rather than in a traditional conference hotel. But changes in the program development process also are in the works. In addition to the current program model, for example, there will be an opportunity to address more time-sensitive topics via pop-up sessions that can be anything from spur-of-the-moment crowds brought together through social media to more deliberate gatherings of likeminded archivists with specific agendas. And to continue the trend begun in 2013, sessions will be shorter, less formal, and more interactive.

Proposal Evaluation

Session proposals are welcome on any aspect of archives management practices—local, national, and international— as well as their intersections with other professions and domains. Proposals will be evaluated on the strength of the 150-word abstract, the diversity of the speakers and their experiences, and the completeness of the proposal. Session proposals should incorporate one or more of the following:

  • Inclusion of diverse or international perspectives and initiatives.
  • Relevance to SAA members and other interested attendees.
  • Interaction and engagement with session participants.
  • Potential impact on archival practice.

There is no theme for ARCHIVES 2015, but an emphasis will be placed on sessions that reflect on the current state of the archival profession. Proposals related to archival advocacy will be given added consideration, as will sessions that explore new ways to grow the profession.

Session Formats

The Program Committee encourages submission of proposals that may include, but are not limited to, the following formats:

  • Traditional. 75- or 60-minute session consisting of two or three fully prepared papers of 15 minutes each and a commentand- discussion period. Please do not propose sessions of more than three presenters. A chair is not required for this format; chair duties may be performed by one of the speakers. Paper titles are required.
  • Incubator Session. 60-minute session consisting of two presentations of 10 minutes each that describe project, research, or collaboration initiatives in their developing or formative stages, and including at least 40 minutes for audience feedback and discussion.
  • Special Focus Session. 60-minute session designed to highlight innovative archives or records management programs, new techniques, and research projects. Audience participation is encouraged.
  • Panel Discussion. 75- or 60-minute session consisting of a panel of 3 to 5 individuals discussing theories or perspectives on a given topic. Similar to the traditional model, the goal of a panel discussion is to have a more informal session with time for audience feedback. Presentation titles are not printed in the program. A moderator is required; a commentator is optional.
  • Poster Presentation. Report in which information is summarized using brief written statements and graphic materials, such as photographs, charts, graphs, and/or diagrams mounted on poster board. Presenters will be assigned a specific time at which they must be with their poster to discuss it with attendees.
  • Lightning Talks. Eight to eleven lively and informative 5-minute talks in a 60-minute Lightning Talk session format. The session chair secures commitments from speakers and compiles all presentation slides to ensure timely speaker transitions. Proposals in this category may suggest recommended presenters, and commitments should be secured soon after the proposal is accepted.
  • Alternative Format. Don’t feel confined by the prescribed formats—suggest an alternative format or create your own! Alternative format sessions may take a variety of forms. Examples include world café ( method.html) and fishbowl discussions (http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/Fishbowl_(conversation). Or you could go “old school” and propose a debate with opposing views and rebuttals. We welcome your creative ideas about how your topic might best be addressed! Proposals in this category must specify the format and session facilitator and briefly describe how the format will enhance presentation of the material and may suggest up to four presenters who will be involved in the session.

New for 2015: Pop-Ups!

For the first time the Program Committee will set aside one hour on Thursday and Friday afternoons for impromptu interactive meetings. Pop-Up sessions might occur as a result of a lively blog discussion, an idea that came up in an earlier session, or an inspiration at lunch. Or Pop-Ups could be used by sections or roundtables for open discussions on hot topics. Sessions will be advertised on the fly via appropriate social media during the meeting. The use of Pop-Up rooms will be coordinated by the Program Committee at the conference site. However, proposals may also be submitted to the Program Committee prior to the meeting beginning in May 2015. Do not use the Session Proposal Form for Pop-Ups. Stay tuned for additional information on these sessions.

Your format choice will not affect the decision of the Program Committee. The Program Committee may, however, recommend that the proposed format be changed if it believes that a different format may better serve the session’s desired audience.

Reminder for Proposal Submitters and Session Participants

Archivists and records managers who participate in the program (including in Pop-Up sessions) must register and secure institutional or personal funding. Participants who are not archivists or records managers, or who are from outside the United States and Canada, may be eligible for complimentary registration upon request. SAA cannot provide funding for speakers, whether they are international, non-archivists, non-records managers, members, or nonmembers.

The Call is now closed. Proposals for the 2015 Annual Meeting
were due on October 8, 2014.

Please note that this is a firm deadline and the Program Committee will not consider proposals received after the deadline.

For additional information, contact 2015 Program Committee Co-chairs Carl Van Ness and Lynn Eaton at


See also: Call for Continuing Education Proposals

Annual Meeting referenced: