IADA Symposium 2022 Call for Papers

Exploring the Compromises between Exhibition and Preservation

Date: February 2022 (exact dates to be decided)

Deadline:  30 September 2021, h.23.59 CEST.

Place:  Online conference

The International Association of Book and Paper Conservators (IADA) welcomes abstracts for the 2022 Symposium, to be held online in February 2022.

The topic of the next IADA symposium was chosen shortly before the start of the pandemic and this call for papers was first written when there was still hope for a quick return to normal. Since then, the situation in every country has constantly changed and there is still a lot of uncertainty for the near future. The topic of the symposium was therefore updated by making it more actual and addressing the challenges of exhibition and preservation not only in a regular context, before the pandemic, but also during and after Covid-19.

In this context, the IADA symposium will explore the challenges related to exhibiting art on paper, archive and library materials, bound and unbound, manuscripts or printed, parchment, leather and paper-based materials including photographs, and other traditional and nontraditional objects. Two of the fundamental missions of cultural heritage institutions are the preservation of collections and the exhibition of objects for the purposes of education, research and enjoyment. Displaying collections to the public is an essential part of enhancing global understanding and initiating critical dialogues about the past and future, as well as addressing present-day conflicts.

The inherent dilemma is that the display of any object increases the risk of deterioration and damage. Every exhibition requires compromise, as well as thoughtful discussion about the challenges of planning and collection care. Since the beginning of the pandemic and the associated restrictions in heritage institutions, virtual exhibitions have become the new normal. We would like to hear if new ways and methods were developed, innovative apps, displays and virtual tours were created and what challenges came with that.

By bringing together actors from across the cultural sector—including conservators, collection managers, registrars, curators, installers, scientists, and artists—this symposium will initiate discussions around the related challenges and compromises, and hopefully lead to a series of best practices.

[Resource: IADA website]

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