virtual Chicago VRA 2021 banner

VRA Annual Conference | March 22-26, 2021 | virtualChicago

All conference content will be shared in an online format.

Engage and collaborate with colleagues from diverse workplaces including higher education, the corporate sector, museums, and archives. Our long-standing association offers a conference culture of generous knowledge sharing with the opportunity to explore digital asset management, intellectual property rights, digital humanities, metadata standards, coding, imaging best practices and so much more.

This year’s program highlights various stages in the lifecycle of visual assets, including capture, conceptualization, use, preservation, access, management, and description. Take advantage of the Early Bird rates, apply for a “Travel” Award, and start building your Sched! We look forward to seeing you in March.

Due to COVID-19, the VRA Executive Board made the decision to move all conference programming to an online environment. As we plan the 2021 conference, we remain focused on offering the same opportunities for learning, reflection, and community building you have come to expect from the Annual Meeting. In addition to a slate of workshops, sessions, and the convocation, we will provide spaces for social interactions to catch up with colleagues and connect with new VRA members from around the world.

The VRA is committed to creating and supporting inclusive, diverse, and equitable communities to further research and education in the field of visual asset image management. We strive to be a welcoming organization where professionals can broaden their knowledge and worldview through interactions with peers with a wide array of experiences and perspectives.

As a members’ organization, we strive to create an inclusive community that values and encourages diversity in its membership and work. Our mission is not only to promote knowledge sharing, skill development, and best practices, but also to foster open, inclusive communication; to offer a supportive community; and to advocate for all people who engage in the management of visual assets.

conference programCustomize your conference experience in Sched! Select workshops, sessions, special interest groups, tours, and events that apply to your specific workplace reality, career stage, and/or intellectual curiosities.

The 2021 keynote speaker is Steven D. Booth, a Chicago-area archivist, researcher, and co-founder of the Blackivists.

You can read more about his work at

March 24, 2021 11:00 am-12:30 pm CDT
VRAF Legacy Lecture, Free and Open to the Public

 View the recorded lecture:

VRA 2021 Land Acknowledgment

The Visual Resources Association recognizes the colonial role of libraries and digital collections, and as visual resources professionals engaging with concepts of knowledge production, dissemination, and organization, we make this statement as an affirmation that we are committed to improving our profession’s practices.

The City of Chicago is the traditional homeland of the Council of the Three Fires: The Odawa, Ojibwe and Potawatomi Nations. Many other Tribes like the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Sac and Fox also called this area home. Located at the intersection of several great waterways, the land naturally became a site of travel and healing for many Tribes. American Indians continue to call this area home and now Chicago is home to the third-largest Urban American Indian community that still practices their heritage, traditions and care for the land and waterways. Read the Complete Land Acknowledgment

Get to know our virtual host city, Chicago!

downtown with buildings and large silver bean-shaped object in center with people walking by

Cloud Gate photo by Giuseppe Milo. CC BY 2.0

Early Bird Registration

December 7, 2020 – March 8, 2021


Member: $100

Non-member: $200

Student, Retired, Unemployed: $75

Non-member Student, Retired, Unemployed: $125

Members of affiliate organizations (ARLIS/NA, CAA, SAH, SECAC, CAICC) will register at the VRA Member rate.

Add-On Workshops: $20-$40* 

Regular Registration

March 9, 2021 – March 22, 2021


Member: $150

Non-member: $250

Student, Retired, Unemployed: $75

Non-member Student, Retired, Unemployed: $125

Members of affiliate organizations (ARLIS/NA, CAA, SAH, SECAC,CAICC) will register at the VRA Member rate.

Add-On Workshops: $20-$40*    

*A note about workshop fees: During the virtual conference, the VRA is making workshop attendance available to non-conference registrants. Non-conference attendees who would like to register for one or more workshops must pay a $35.00 “Workshop-only” processing fee for each workshop selection in addition to the workshop registration fee.

travel awards heading in script

The VRA offers several awards to assist with attendance at the VRA Annual Conference.  First-time attendees, new members, students, international members, isolated professionals, and those actively participating in the conference programming are especially encouraged to apply.

This year, no travel is required! Awards cover registration cost and, in some cases, VRA membership.

Photos used in the Chicago logo: C: Chicago skyline photographed from Olive Park by Jarred Trost. HWrigley Building and Annex by Teemu008. IArt Institute of Chicago by Tripp. CChicago Illinois Lake Michigan by GoddessOfRocks. ANavy Pier from the shoreline by David Bjorgen. GChicago skyline, viewed from John Hancock Center by Allen McGregor. O: Cloud Gate by PublicDomainPictures. All images, except Navy Pier, are used under CC BY 2.0Navy Pier from the shoreline used under CC BY 2.5. All images have been cropped.