CFP: Digital Curation – Are We Fulfilling Our Obligations to Future Generations?

Digital Curation: Are We Fulfilling Our Obligations to Future Generations?

How Does “Digital Curation” Relate to the Curatorial Practices

Employed by Special Collections Libraries?

 A Special Joint Session sponsored by the

Canadian Association of Professional Academic Librarians (CAPAL) and the

Bibliographical Society of Canada (BSC)

 To be held at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at

Brock University on May 26, 2014

 Academic libraries, public and special libraries, archives, governments, and other organizations are under increasing pressure to preserve content that is born digital, and to do so in a way that will be widely accessible over the very long term.  This kind of preservation presents many technical challenges, so much so that such projects sometimes seem to be driven more by technology than by curatorial intention or acquisition policies.  At a time when the volume of born-digital content continues to increase, when both media and government routinely express wholly unrealistic expectations about  the stability and the costs of preserving digital content, there are many questions to be addressed.  How should we choose which digital content will be acquired and preserved?  How best can we design and evaluate digital preservation projects?  How can institutions work together to avoid unnecessary duplications?  What kinds of national and professional standards are needed?

The problems in digital curation are similar to those long addressed in Special Collection Libraries.  Even though the media and the technologies differ, there are numerous parallels.  Key to both is the requirement that Digital Curators, Academic Librarians, Archivists, and Special Collections Librarians identify content needed by researchers in the future and develop systems to preserve it.

We invite proposals for papers which explore the relationship between current and emerging practices in digital curation on one hand and the curatorial practices and acquisitions policies at play in Special Collections Libraries on the other.  We welcome papers which explore the practical and theoretical shifts which occur as librarians, archivists, IT professionals, scholars, and others seek to preserve both print and born-digital materials for future generations.

Please submit a 250-word proposal, a one-page curriculum vitae, and contact information to Linda Quirk at

Deadline for proposals November 1, 2013.