ARCHIVES * RECORDS 2022: Call for Program Proposals

Submission Deadline Extended to January 12

Call for Program Proposals
86th Annual Meeting of the
Society of American Archivists
August 20-27, 2022

Note: We are hopeful that we will gather for the 2022 SAA Annual Meeting at the Boston Sheraton. As the current public health crisis continues, SAA staff are exploring options for a hybrid conference that will allow attendees to connect however they are most comfortable and for the Society to adjust based on CDC requirements. The Program Committee is issuing this call for proposals for sessions to be presented either in-person or virtually during the conference dates. More information will be forthcoming as we explore options while monitoring the public health crisis.


How do we plan for the future? How do we remain nimble, as individuals and organizations? How do we prepare the next generation of information professionals for the world they'll inhabit? How can we be practical while remaining free to imagine?

We are dealing with remarkable change which constantly challenges us to envision and implement new ways of working to accommodate unanticipated and uncommon constraints. We now confront a "new normal" that comes with new pressures and new expectations, both at home and in the workplace. As our communities move forward, simultaneously grappling with an ongoing pandemic; embracing diversity, equity, and inclusivity; and trying to return to more familiar ways of being, we dare to envision opportunities for imagining new paths and reimagining old ones. 

With these questions in mind, the Program Committee encourages proposals that confront these issues and has identified the following as particularly important topics for discussion. Please note that proposals do not have to fit into these themes to be considered.

  • Managing the change process

  • Strategic planning and long-term goal setting

  • Operationalizing big-picture ideas

  • Archival labor and management

  • Sustainability and the effects of climate change

  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility as core functions of our work

  • Implementing the lessons learned from COVID in our work environments

Proposal Evaluation

The Program Committee invites submissions for 60- or 75-minute sessions or poster presentations. Proposals are welcome on any aspect of archives, records, and information management—local, state or territorial, national, and international—including their intersections with other professions and domains. Each proposal will be evaluated on its completeness and the strength of the 150-word abstract.  

At this time, SAA has not determined whether the 2022 Annual Meeting will be held in person, virtually, or in a hybrid format. The Program Committee is especially interested in proposals that are flexible and could be presented either virtually or in person. 

Proposals should incorporate one or more of the following: 

  • Statement of potential impact on archives, records, and information management;

  • Diversity of presenters, including but not limited to, racial diversity, gender diversity, experiential or professional diversity, institutional diversity, diversity of ability, or geographic diversity; 

  • Relevance of the topic for SAA members and other interested attendees; and/or

  • Interaction and engagement with session attendees.

We expect program sessions to reflect SAA's commitment to a diverse and inclusive program and profession. As each session is composed of individuals and/or organizations with varied personal and professional experiences, perspectives, and identities, please indicate—in a summative way—how your proposal reflects individual, institutional, or geographic diversity or supports the development, inclusion, and stewardship of a diverse profession or cultural record. This could include positionality statements that reflect on the unique identities of the panelists in relation to the work they will discuss, a recognition of dominant positionality inherent in your identity or organization, or the ways in which privilege and power manifests in the session and how you will use or respond to it.

Session Formats

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

Incubator Session. Session consisting of two or three short presentations that describe a project, research, or collaboration initiatives in their developing or formative stages, and including at least 40 minutes of interactive discussion with feedback from the audience.

Special Focus Session. Session led by an individual or group, designed to highlight innovative archives or records management programs, new techniques, and research projects. Audience participation is encouraged.

Lightning Talks. Session consisting of eight to ten lively and informative 5-minute talks. The session chair secures commitments from speakers and compiles all presentation slides into one single presentation to ensure timely speaker transitions. 

Panel Discussion. Session consisting of a panel of three to five individuals discussing theories or perspectives on a given topic. The goal of a panel discussion is to have a more informal session with time for audience feedback. Presentation titles should be provided and will be printed in the program, but prepared papers are not required. A moderator is required (this role may be performed by the chair); a commentator is optional.

Traditional. Session consisting of two or three (and no more than three) fully prepared papers of 15 minutes each and a comment-and-discussion period. A separate chair is optional for this format; chair duties may be performed by one of the speakers. Paper titles are required.

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 (if in person) or in a PDF document (if virtual). Presenters will be assigned a specific time at which they must be with their poster to discuss it with attendees, if presenting in-person.

Mini-Workshop. Consists of two to four workshop leaders who share knowledge and expertise about a particular archival topic, practice, program, technology, technique, lesson plan, or software; may be followed by smaller breakout sessions to “try things out.”  

Alternative Format. Don’t feel confined by the prescribed formats—suggest an alternative or create your own! Alternative format sessions may take a variety of forms. Examples include world café and fishbowl discussions. Propose a moderated debate offering opposing points of view, or an “experiential” format involving simulation, role play, or games to convey key principles and learning objectives. We welcome your creative ideas about how your topic might best be addressed! Proposals in this category must: 1) specify the format and session facilitator and 2) describe briefly how the format will enhance presentation of the material. You may suggest up to four presenters for the session.

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

Proposals for the 2022 Annual Meeting are due on Wednesday, January 12, at 11:59 pm CT.  The Program Committee will not consider proposals received after the deadline.

Frequently Asked Questions: Submitting a Session Proposal


Thinking of submitting a proposal for the 2022 Annual Meeting? In Archival Outlook, 2021 Program Committee member Sharmila Bhatia offers five tips for writing successful session proposals:

The 2022 Program Committee has created a Google spreadsheet to be used as an informal tool to connect individuals who are seeking ideas and/or collaboration on session proposals for the 2022 Annual Meeting. It is not monitored by SAA or the Program Committee and is not part of the official submission process.
Annual Meeting referenced: 

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