Call for Proposals: Visual Resources Association 2018 in Philadelphia

Dear colleagues,

The Visual Resources Association’s 36th Annual Conference will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from Tuesday, March 27th, through Friday, March 30, 2018, in the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. The theme for the Philadelphia conference is VRA 2018: Workshop of the World. Please mark your calendars.

Proposals for case studies, papers, sessions, special interest/user groups, and workshops are now being solicited for the 2018 program. All proposals are welcome.
Click here to access the conference proposal form. It is available in PDF form if you would like the view the entire form before submitting.

  • A session is a maximum 90-minute moderated session with 3 to 4 speakers at 15 to 20 minutes each followed by a facilitated brief question and answer period.
  • A workshop is a 2, 3, or 4-hour workshop to develop skills and experience in the field of visual resources, preferably with hands-on activities.
  • A paper is an individual idea submission, which will be reviewed for possible grouping into a session. Your ideas, whether they come to us alone or in a group, are equally valued in the Board’s proposal and selection process.
  • A special interest/user group is a 60-minute to 90-minute informal facilitated group discussion on topics related to a specific community within VRA.
  • A case study is detailed information about an individual, small group, or project, generally including the accounts of subjects themselves. Moderators are encouraged to submit proposals. Individual case study proposals will be reviewed for possible groupings similar to the session format.

The quality of conference content depends upon YOUR ideas and contributions, so let those creative juices flow. Perusing some of the past conference schedules will show you the range of topics presented in previous years and may inspire your proposal. Use suggested topics compiled from post-conference survey responses (see below) or your imagination to propose ideas which expand our outlook. If there is an area of concern or interest that you feel has not been adequately addressed, participate in this process by submitting a proposal. Moderators may put out calls for presenters within a proposed topic before or after the submission of a proposal. The VRA Executive Board will be looking for articulate and concise submissions with lists of presenters, but single submissions without presenter lists are encouraged as well.

Suggested topics:
Changing roles and functions of Visual Resource Collections
Coding (PHP, SQL, HTML5, etc.)
Corporate Visual Resources careers
DAM basics
Data migration
Digital collections platforms
Digital Humanities theory
Digital preservation
Digital tools in the classrooms
Engaging K-12
Ethics in Visual Resources
Excel tips and tricks
Implementation case studies (Omeka, Shared Shelf, Luna)
Information architecture
Institutional repository management
Library instruction
Metadata and standards
New technology
Non-art related topics (archives and libraries)
Non-Western art
Publishing and scholarly communication
Supervisory roles

Questions about the proposal process and the various presentation formats included in the VRA Conference program can be directed to me at

The proposal deadline is Friday, July 28th, 2017. I look forward to hearing from you!

Jacob Esselstrom
Vice President for Conference Program
Visual Resources Association

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