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Call for Papers

Art Libraries Section

Revealing the Invisible – opening access to art bibliographical and research information in a networked environment


The Art Libraries Section of IFLA will be organizing a two-hour Open Session.


In the era of digital communication through complex virtual networks, a lot of scientific information and research data is increasingly born digital and is easily accessible through the web. Working on solutions for improving the systematic "detectibility" and the automatic validation or contextualization of the material available online has become a new collective challenge. Libraries, as epicentres of information and knowledge, including digital and analog media, play a major part in this environment. They not only collect and preserve, they also produce relevant data by providing bibliographic descriptions and by delivering digitisation projects etc. The online catalogues of libraries all over the world offer more and more information and search-optiontools which in former times were covered by bibliographies.

In the field of the arts, the situation is particularly challenging:

  • the cataloguing systems are based on different national conventions compounded by problems of language incompatibility
  • at the moment, there is no realistic prospect of generating a complete bibliography of art history;
  • through global museum and gallery activities the information output is growing exponentially
  • the synergetic potential of a net-based international division of labor in librarianship is rarely used and even then it is both tentative and un-co-ordinated
  • seen from a global point of view, libraries inefficiently duplicate cataloguing effort and, while doing so, they neglect other relevant tasks, like the systematic indexing of articles and essays, for example from journals or online resources

Aims of the Session:

The IFLA Art Libraries Section conference seeks to be a platform for analyzing the specific potential of specialised information in libraries in the field of the arts. It aims to discuss models and future solutions in order to significantly improve the discovery of and access to data for research and science. We are aiming to avoid presentations of examples of parochial stand-alone projects in favour of exploring the potential for creative and innovative supranational co-operation. Particularly welcome are proposals relating to the needs and experiences of users in the fields of art history and the humanities.


The Open Session will last for two hours. Four papers will be chosen for this session. Speakers are restricted to 20 minutes. Afterwards there will be time for questions and comments from the audience. All seven official IFLA languages are admitted for the presentations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian and Spanish). Papers in English are preferred because no simultaneous translation is planned for this session.

Submission guidelines:

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

  • Title of the paper.
  • Author(s) of the paper.
  • Abstract or summary of the paper (200-400 maximum words).
  • Speaker's info: name, address, professional affiliation, email address, biographical note (40 words)

Important Dates:

  • 28 February 2010: Deadline for submission of proposals and abstracts.
  • 15 March 2010: Notification of acceptance by the Review Committee of the Section.
  • 30 May 2010: Deadline for submission of full text of the paper

Please submit your proposals to:

Jan Simane
Martin Flynn
Lucile Trunel
Information Officer


All proposals must be in before 28 February 2010.

Please note

All expenses, including registration for the conference, travel, accommodation etc., are the responsibility of the authors/presenters. No financial support can be provided by IFLA, but a special invitation can be issued to authors/presenters if that is required.

Last update: 16 February 2010