VRA 2023 Call for Proposals

The VRA Executive Board is soliciting content proposals for the 2023 VRA Conference to be held from September 26–28, 2023 at the Hotel Valencia Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX.

We encourage all members and other potential attendees to share their own work experiences and ideas by submitting a proposal to the annual VRA conference. Proposing a session or paper is an excellent way to share knowledge, speak to current issues and concerns in the field, and enhance one’s own credentials while building networks and friendships in an open, collaborative environment. The VRA conference program is built around community-generated content. The strength of the conference program depends on the willingness of our members and other professionals to submit proposals. If you want to hear more on a particular topic, consider proposing a session or paper on that topic as a way to start a conversation about it.

Access the conference proposal form here.

Past conference schedules can give you an idea of the range of topics presented in previous years; for further inspiration you may also wish to read through the list of suggested topics compiled from post-conference survey responses provided below. Starred (*) topics have been highly requested.

Suggested topics: 

  • Coding (PHP, Python, SQL, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Copyright/Intellectual property
  • *Digital asset management, digital curation, digital preservation, etc.
  • *Digitization (workflows, digital capture and imaging technologies)
  • Digital scholarship and digital humanities
  • *Diversity, equity, inclusion, cultural competencies, social justice
  • Project management (communication, grant writing, prioritization, leadership, etc.)
  • Linked data
  • Materials/Objects collections
  • *Metadata/Cataloging ethics (decolonizing vocabularies, radical cataloging)
  • Storytelling and oral history
  • Technologies (GIS and mapping, 3D imaging, etc.)
  • Tools: open source, evolution, future trends
  • *Workplace cultures and professional transitions (academic departments, libraries, cultural heritage institutions, archives, corporate, etc.) 

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list. Do not hesitate to propose something new or highlight an area of concern that you feel has not been adequately addressed in the past. 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 submissions without presenter lists are encouraged as well.

Content may take the form of papers, sessions, special interest/user groups, workshops, poster sessions, and committee meetings. All proposals are welcome, and if you have other conference ideas or suggestions that do not fit the conference proposal form, please reach out to the Director for Events and Initiatives, Brian Shelburne

  • paper is an individual idea submission, which will be reviewed for possible grouping into a session. Your ideas, whether they come to us independently or as part of a group, are equally valued in the Board’s proposal and selection process.
  • session is a 60-minute moderated panel consisting of no more than 3 presenters speaking for 15 to 18 minutes each, followed by a brief facilitated question and answer period. If you feel your session topic requires additional time, consider dividing it into two sessions, consisting of a Part I and a Part II.
  • special interest/user group is a 60-minute informal, community-driven, facilitated group discussion on topics related to a specific segment of the VRA membership.
  • workshop is a 2-, 4-, or 8-hour event to develop skills and experience in the field of visual resources with hands-on activities.
  • poster session presents a topic using visual aids in conjunction with direct interaction with conference attendees. Posters can depict workplace initiatives, research in progress, and other topics of contemporary interest. 

The conference format will be hybrid, allowing for the possibility of presenting and/or attending remotely. The proposal form includes a section to specify if you are interested in presenting online or in person. 

The deadline for proposals is March 17, 2023.


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