Call for Proposals and Presenters: The Liberated Archive Forum

The Liberated Archive: A Forum for Envisioning and Implementing a Community-Based Approach to Archives will be held from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, July 29, in conjunction with the Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon.

The Forum will bring together archivists from around the country and members of communities in the Portland metro area (and beyond!) to envision how archivists might partner with the public to repurpose the archive as a site of social transformation and radical inclusion. There are two goals for the Forum:

  • To provide community members with tools, techniques, and human connections that they can use to transform themselves as they need and desire, and
  • To provide archivists with tools, techniques, and human connections that they can use in their own communities to transform the way in which the human record is documented.

The Program Committee seeks proposals and presenters for ten concurrent hour-long discussion sessions. Each session will consist of a short (10- to 20-minute) presentation by two or more people followed by 40-50 minutes of audience interaction. Sessions are intended to lay the groundwork for the Liberated Archive’s afternoon unconference.

Proposals may describe either 1) a fully formed presentation (including at least one community member and one archivist) or 2) an individual’s body of knowledge, target audience, and desire to present on one of the subjects listed below. Presentation proposals must meet the following two conditions to be considered:

  • The presentation team must include both archivists and community members. (In the case of individual proposals, the program committee may pair up community members and archivists who would like to speak on the same topic.)
  • The proposal must directly address one of the subjects listed below.

We are excited by the possibility that these sessions may have a positive impact on local communities and may expand the ways in which archivists perform their work. We encourage creative approaches to the following subjects with those ends in mind:

  • Archives and policing, criminal justice, and corrections
  • Building heritage self-assessment for community use
  • Building coalitions/partnerships with other communities and/or heritage professions
  • Community and personal archives (including digital) basics
  • Community archives, conflict, and reconciliation
  • Community archivist as a career for community members
  • Existing community archives as models
  • Individual stories as community archives
  • Neighborhood history and justice
  • Personal archives for homeless or transient people
  • Personal documentation for non-citizen residents
  • Stories as intergenerational glue
  • Stories of sexuality, gender, and love
  • Surveillance, data security, and right to forget
  • Telling your stories yourself/decolonizing archives and archivists

Please submit proposals via email to Proposals must contain the following information:

  • Indicate whether yours is a presentation proposal or an individual body of knowledge proposal;
  • Name(s) and affiliation(s) of all presenters;
  • Subject to be addressed (from the list above); and
  • An abstract of no more than 250 words in which you describe both how your presentation will address the subject and how you plan to engage the audience.

Deadline for submission of abstracts:  March 13, 2017.

Proposals received after this date cannot be considered.

You will be notified of the review committee’s decision by April 3, 2017.

Submit your 250-word abstract and other information no later than March 13, 2017, via email to

Annual Meeting referenced: 

SAA thanks the following Sponsors for their generous support!