ARCHIVES * RECORDS 2024: Call for Program Proposals


The last three years have seen substantial changes in the world—a global pandemic, calls for social justice, climate change, economic uncertainty, and political division. Changes that are often beyond our control but affect our work and work life. We must consider the lasting impact of these changesand ones still to comeas we look to the future of our profession.

Rather than offer a theme to focus the conference around, the Program Committee seeks a multitude of opinions and perspectives from a wide variety of regions and institutions about the state of the field and its future. For those looking for somewhere to start, the Program Committee suggests thinking about the following concepts:

  • Artificial intelligence and its impacts and opportunities
  • The future of archival work
  • Fundraising
  • Community building and engagement
  • Public programming and exhibits
  • Supporting professional growth and leadership
  • Embedding the archives mindset into the DNA of your organization
  • Navigating political uncertainty

We are also open to proposals on other topics related to archives and archival work.

Proposal Evaluation

The Program Committee invites submissions for 60–75 minute sessions (live and/or hybrid) and poster presentations. This year, we are introducing one new proposal format and one new session format, which are described below. Proposals are welcome on any aspect of archives, records, and information management—local, state or territorial, national, and international—especially their intersections with other professions and domains. Each proposal will be evaluated on its completeness and the strength of the 150-word abstract. 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, and/or geographic diversity; 
  • Relevance of the topic for SAA members and other interested attendees; and/or 
  • A plan for, or description of, how the session will incorporate interaction and engagement with session attendees.

We expect program sessions to reflect SAA’s commitments to a diverse and inclusive program and profession. Each session should include individuals and/or organizations with varied personal and professional experiences, perspectives, and identities. Please indicate—in a summative way—how your proposal reflects individual, organizational, or geographic diversity and/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 manifest 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:

NEW in 2024! Bring Your Own Breakfast (BYOB). To foster more connection for in-person attendees, we are introducing “Bring Your Own Breakfast” sessions in the morning, before the convening of the main conference. These informal sessions are an opportunity to gather archivists interested in similar topics, particularly emerging areas (like Artificial Intelligence) for connection and collaboration. By proposing a BYOB session, you are committing to facilitating discussion amongst attendees. Similar proposals may be combined. 

NEW in 2024! Mix and Match. “Mix and Match” is a new proposal format that will allow individuals to propose an individual talk, rather than a full session. We hope this option will encourage individuals who have not previously submitted a proposal to do so and to provide an opportunity to connect archivists who might not have otherwise met one another. We will accept proposals for 5 or 20-minute presentations. 

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 Presentation. Session consisting of a panel of three to five individuals discussing or presenting theories or perspectives on a given topic. Session may consist of a series of prepared presentations or a moderated discussion, and should include time for audience feedback. If giving prepared presentations, presentation titles should be provided and will be printed in the program. A moderator is required (this role may be performed by the chair); 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 (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.

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 the 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.

Submit Proposal

Proposals for the 2024 Annual Meeting are due on Wednesday, December  6 13, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. CT. The Program Committee will not consider proposals received after the deadline.

The 2024 Annual Meeting abstract and speaker management system is synced to the SAA association management system (AMS). If you are subscribed to a discussion list via SAA Connect or have made a purchase with SAA (membership, book order, donation, and/or registration for a SAA course or annual meeting) you already have an account in SAA’s AMS. You need not be a member of SAA to submit a proposal or gain access to the SAA AMS. See FAQs for more information. 

  • You may create or edit your profile via the SAA homepage.
    We strongly recommend instructing your co-presenters to create or update their profiles prior to starting the speaker submission section. This will expedite the process when adding them to the proposal and have correct presenter information. 
  • Review the submission form questions (PDF) before submitting your proposal. Note: Submissions will only be received through the online submission form not the PDF.

For additional guidance on submitting your proposal, read 2021 Program Committee member Sharmila Bhatia’s five tips for writing successful session proposals.

See Frequently Asked Questions: Submitting a 2024 Session Proposal

The 2024 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 2024 Annual Meeting. It is not monitored by SAA or the Program Committee and is not part of the official submission process.


Questions? Contact the Conference Office at

Annual Meeting referenced: 

SAA Code of Conduct

We value and respect our diverse guests, volunteers, service providers, and staff members. We expect all of our attendees to do the same. Read the SAA Code of Conduct.