Call for proposals for MARAC spring 2018 conference in Hershey, PA

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference Spring meeting will be held in Hershey, Pennsylvania on April 12-14, 2018. The Program Committee for the Spring 2018 MARAC conference in Hershey, PA is now accepting proposals.
Proposals are due midnight, May 22, 2017

The theme of this meeting is “Finding the Sweet Spot: Communities, Collaboration, and the Archives” and the Program Committee is especially interested in proposals related to archival communities and collaborative efforts undertaken in any number of combinations.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Challenges and opportunities in undertaking collaborative projects (including case studies and/or professional experience)
  • The role of the Archives in any type of community (i.e. civic, organizational, institutional, special populations or identity groups, etc.)
  • Public/private partnerships (examples of successful or unsuccessful efforts)
  • Collaborative teams (working in them, results oriented, internal teams or external project groups)
  • Working with non-professionals, such as crowd-sourcing projects (approaches, tools, successful or unsuccessful efforts).
  • Collaborative project management (approaches, tools, case studies, etc.)
  • Communities of archivists (reflecting on organizations or experiences)
  • Collaborating with non-archivists and the challenges this might present (working with librarians, working with IT professionals, working with cross-professional teams in internal or external groups, communication challenges)
  • Archival ethics: privacy concerns, representavity of materials’ provenance vs. communities using them
  • Collaborating with different communities of researchers (i.e. strategies for working with different researcher communities to provide better service models)

Hershey, PA is also known as Chocolate Town, USA as well as the Sweetest Place on Earth and the program committee welcomes topics related to local history and industry. Possible topics include:

  • Food industry history/archives
  • Company towns
  • PA Industry and Labor History collections
  • Local history topics
  • Transformation of rural to industrial communities as documented by archives
  • Lower education (K-12) and the role of history and archives (Hershey Park, for example, attracts a lot of children)
  • Urban/suburban archives – accessibility by location (a central/western PA car-culture issue, possibly experienced where you live too?)

Finally, we are also interested in a variety of program types. Those presenters who have a presentation but no co-panelists can submit a single presentation (either lightening talk or classic 15-20 minute presentation) and be placed on a panel by the Program Committee. We are looking for presenters to come up with the following:

  • NEW* BOF’s: Birds-of-feather sessions might explore an archival topic/subject of interest to you, in which you would feel comfortable facilitating a discussion among your peers. For BOF sessions, you will be asked to provide a justification for why this topic may be of significance or relevance to the MARAC community. Also, describe what type of audience would be interested in the topic you propose. Facilitators will be expected to serve as discussion leaders and come prepared with a series of questions and discussion topics in order to ensure that participants get the most out of this session.
  • Debate: Find someone that you can have a civil argument with and show us how it’s done! You will be asked to identify the topic of the debate and give the name of a moderator for your session.
  • 15-20 minute paper/presentations: This classic conference presentation can be submitted as a group presentation (session) or an individual presentation which, upon acceptance, may be brought into a group session or used with other individually submitted presentations to make up a session block..
  • Lightning talks: 5-7 minute talks on a single topic. These can be submitted as a group presentation (with approximately 8-12 presenters identified), or submitted individually and brought into a lightening round.
  • Panel discussion: A group of people discuss a single topic and take audience questions. A moderator and panelists should be identified.

Submit your proposal to:

For more information or questions, please contact:
Déirdre Joyce at or
Jessica Wagner Webster at


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