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IFLA Conference

World Library and Information Congress: 75th IFLA General Conference and Assembly

"Libraries create futures: Building on cultural heritage"

23-27 August 2009, Milan, Italy

Spanish translation

Call for Papers

Rare Books and Manuscripts Section
Preservation and Conservation Section
Library History Section

Theme: "Dispersed cultural collectionsPreservation, reconstruction and access"

The IFLA Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, the Preservation and Conservation Section, and the Library History Section jointly invite proposals for presentations at the Sections’ programme in Milan, 23-27 August 2009.

Following the main theme of the conference "Libraries create futures: Building on cultural heritage", papers should focus on dispersed cultural collections and their preservation and conservation, reconstruction, and access to them, preferably in electronic form.

  • Dispersed cultural collections comprises libraries and other collections formerly held by institutions or private collectors which were dispersed through political events (wars, dissolution of monasteries) or through auctions and duplicate sales, and are today held in various public institutions (libraries, archives, museums) or in different sections of such institutions. The dispersed materials may be in different formats (manuscripts, printed books, archival documents, photographs) and may date from any period. Papers about individual collectors and dealers will also be considered
  • Preservation and conservation deals with aspects of the physical assessment of an object for the better understanding of its contexts, with special regard to provenances. The role of the conservator should be given particular consideration, including procedures for preserving and documenting features relevant for the history of an item during conservation, such as provenance marks and former shelfmarks.
  • Reconstruction should cover questions of identifying individual items which once belonged to such a collection; of investigating the survival of historical collections; or of maintaining inventories or archives of collections that have been dispersed. Papers should discuss methods of reconstruction, i.e. through identification of provenances, through matching of historical inventories with surviving items, or through digitization as well as methods for the creation of virtual libraries or databases of dispersed materials.
  • Access refers to the questions concerning the needs of target-groups of such projects (from researchers to the general public), the standards applied for cataloguing and presentation and problems of overcoming heterogeneous standards for diverse materials; technical solutions for their presentation; and also raising awareness and funds for such project.

Papers should place particular emphasis on issues of project management and methodology, e.g. policies regarding preservation and digitization; standards for cataloguing and recording provenances; cross-institutional cooperation (national and international).

Materials presented should be placed in a broader cultural-historical context in order to demonstrate their relevance to a wide range of (academic) subjects and users, taking up the theme of IFLA president Claudia Lux for 2007-9: "Libraries on the Agenda”.


  • Papers can be given in any of the official IFLA languages (English, French, German, Russian, Spanish), but abstracts should be submitted in English.
  • Papers should not be longer than 15 pages.
  • The oral presentation of each paper should not exceed 20 minutes.

The proposals must be submitted in an electronic format and must contain:

  1. Title of paper
  2. Summary of paper (250 – 350 words max)
  3. Speaker’s name, institutional affiliation, address, telephone
  4. Important dates:
    • deadline for submission of abstract 31 December 2008
    • notification of acceptance March 2009
    • deadline for submission of paper: 1 May 2009

All submissions should be sent via email to:

Bettina Wagner
Rare books and Manuscript Section chair
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
E-mail: bettina.wagner@bsb-muenchen.de

Per Cullhed
Preservation and Conservation Section chair
Uppsala University Library
E-mail: per.cullhed@ub.uu.se

Hermina G.B. Anghelescu
Library History Section chair
Wayne State University
E-mail: ag7662@wayne.edu

Please send your proposal to all three addresses.

Please note that the IFLA sections have no funds for financial assistance to prospective authors: abstracts should only be submitted on the understanding that the expenses of attending the conference (including travel expenses and conference fee) and registration and hotel bookings will be the responsibility of the presenter(s) of accepted papers. Some national professional associations may be able to help fund certain expenses, and a small number of grants for conference attendance may be available from the IFLA website.