Call for Papers

Rare Books and Special Collections Section

Fostering collaboration to build and preserve African cultural heritage

We invite you to submit a proposal for the session of IFLA's Rare Books and Special Collections Section at the 81st IFLA General Conference and Assembly to be held in Cape Town South Africa 15-21 August 2015.

This session will explore various international projects dedicated to preserving African cultural heritage.  The case studies will focus on successful methods for fostering collaboration, international concerns versus local cultural priorities, contextualizing African collections outside of Africa, and the ways in which national copyright laws and international treaties can serve to hamper preservation activities.

Examples of relevant topics might include:

  • Challenges in managing heritage collections in Africa
  • African heritage collections outside Africa
  • The Tombouctou Manuscripts Projects
  • Islamic Manuscripts from Mali
  • Genocide Archive Rwanda
  • Collaborations between Scotland and Malawi
  • Copyright issues that affect international collaboration

Submission guidelines

For all proposals, please provide:

  • name and institution of presenter(s)
  • an abstract of the paper or presentation up to 350 words, preferably in English
  • relevant biographical information of presenter(s)
  • the name of the session most appropriate to your presentation

Please send your proposals by 15 February 2015 via email to both:

David Farneth, Chair of the RBSC Section

and to

Edwin C. Schroeder, Information Coordinator of the RBSC Section

The decisions of the review committee will be communicated by the beginning of March.

The paper may be given at the congress in any of IFLA’s official languages.

If a paper is selected, authors must commit to presenting it in Cape Town.

Presenters must forward the full text of their papers by 30 April 2015 to allow time for review and for preparation of translations (if applicable). Presentations should not take longer than 25 minutes to deliver and papers should be no longer than 20 pages.

In accordance with IFLA's Open Access Statement all papers presented at the Conference will be available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) license. Authors of submitted papers will need to sign IFLA’s Author form. The papers and presentations will be made available through the IFLA Library.

Important dates

15 February 2015

Submission of abstract

Beginning of March

The decisions of the review committee

30 April 2015

Submission of full papers


All proposals must be in before 15 February 2015.

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 letter can be issued to authors.

Congress Participation Grants

List of opportunities for support is available on our Conference Participation Grants webpage.

Last update: 19 December 2014