Call for Papers

Rare Books and Manuscripts Section
& Art Libraries Section

Images, lost and found innovative approaches to discovery and use of visual material found in rare books, manuscripts, and special collections

Reflecting the theme of the IFLA World Libraries and Information Congress 2013 in Singapore "Future Libraries: Infinite Possibilities" the Rare Book and Manuscript Section together with the Art Libraries Section of IFLA will be organizing a three-hour Open Session: Images, lost and found: innovative approaches to discovery and use of visual material found in rare books, manuscripts, and special collections.

Rare books, manuscripts, and special collections contain millions of images that remain largely 'hidden' to researchers because they are not catalogued individually. These include woodcuts, illuminations, emblems, drawings, sketches, paintings, and photographs, all of which are critical to a wide range of research in the humanities. In fact, many researchers focus solely on these images, and not on the texts that contain them. A similar problem exists with large image collections found in a library's special collections, because they are too massive to be catalogued individually. These, too, are difficult to find and use.

The papers may:

  1. describe new discovery tools or methods
  2. demonstrate innovative ways of managing large visual collections
  3. highlight new areas of research that have resulted from analyzing and using images in innovative ways

Aims of the Session: The session should explore various innovative tools and methods designed to help researchers find and use images that are hidden in books and large cultural heritage collections.

Format: The Open Session will last for three hours. 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

  • 18 January 2013: Deadline for submission of proposals and abstracts.
  • 15 March 2013: Notification of acceptance by the Review Committee of the Section.
  • 18 May 2013: Deadline for submission of full text of the paper.


Please submit your proposals to:

Raphaële Mouren, Chair of the Rare Book and Manuscript Section
David Farneth, Information Coordinator

Jan Simane, Chair of the Art Libraries Section
Martin Flynn, Secretary of the Section


All proposals must be in before 18 January 2013.

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.

Congress Attendance Grants

The Singapore National Committee and IFLA have worked hard to secure funds for Conference Participation Grants. Up-to-date information will be available on our Conference Participation Grants webpage.

Last update: 3 December 2012