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Call for Submissions

AIC's 45th Annual Meeting will take place in Chicago, May 28–June 1, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Register for the meeting here!


Annual Meeting Theme

The theme for AIC's 45th Annual Meeting, held in Chicago, IL, USA, May 28 through June 1, 2017, will be “Treatment 2017: Innovation in Conservation and Collection Care.”

Whether item- or collection-level, preventive or interventive, treatment remains at the heart of what conservators do in order to preserve cultural heritage collections. The design and implementation of an ethical and sound conservation treatment, even the ultimate decision of no treatment at all, begin before its commencement and the consequences continue well beyond its completion.

Papers are solicited that explore various facets of conservation treatments and collection care programs intended to prolong the lifetime of cultural property.  Topics may include, but are not limited to, a reconsideration of historic procedures no longer in practice, cutting edge technologies employed in treatments, effective preventive conservation or collection care steps that reduce the necessity or extent of interventive treatments, the incorporation of sustainability into conservation treatments, or innovations in treatment design, execution, and documentation. 



The online portal is now open! The deadline for submitting materials is 11:59pm EST on Monday, September 12th, 2016.

You can use the online portal to submit materials for 3 kinds of Annual Meeting programming:

  • A General, Specialty, Joint Speciality, Interest Session, or Poster presentation
  • A Pre-session presentation
  • A Workshop
  • What is the difference between the three types of programming? 

    A topic submitted as an abstract for either a general, specialty/network, or joint specialty session should conform to AIC's standard arrangement of no more than 2 speakers presenting in a 30 minute time slot. You can also submit for a panel presentation for 3-6 panelists in a 90 minute time slot. If you want your abstract to be considered for a poster presentation, you must select poster as one, if not all of your choices in the abstract form. A poster topic should lend itself to being easily understood without additional materials or interpretation when on display. You may submit multiple abstracts, however, please only submit one abstract for consideration on a topic.

    Workshops at the Annual Meeting are an opportunity to provide hands-on training and education for conservators and allied professionals. Workshops may focus on new techniques or skills useful to AIC members, or act as a refresher course on processes useful to the care of cultural materials. Workshops are almost always ticketed and have a cost for participants beyond the base meeting registration. Workshops will take place on the two pre-conference days of May 28-29.

    Pre-session proposals are primarily aimed at discussions that fall outside of the scope of a 30-minute presentation by a presenter, and that do not require hands-on collaboration or laboratory space, as a workshop might. Pre-sessions will take place on the two pre-conference days of May 28-29.


    Enter the Online Portal:

  • Submit an abstract for a General, Specialty, Joint Specialty, Interest Session, or Poster presentation
  • Submit a proposal for a Pre-session presentation
  • Submit a proposal for a Workshop
  • If you have questions about how to log in and submit your materials, please see our section below, "How to Submit Materials in the Online Portal."


    Be a Part of a Session

    Session Types

    Abstracts will be considered for the following session types.

    General Sessions - General Session papers must specifically address the meeting theme.  Recent efforts to provide a variety of session formats will continue and authors accepted for general session presentations may receive requests to participate in lightning rounds or concurrent general sessions.

    Specialty Sessions - Specialty Session papers are encouraged to address the meeting theme but may also explore other topics relevant to that specialty. Specialty sessions will include: Architecture, Book and Paper, Electronic Media, Objects, Photographic Materials, Paintings, Research and Technical Studies, Textiles, and Wooden Artifacts. For more information on topics in the Specialty Sessions, see the Specialty Session calls for papers below.

    Joint Sessions - Joint Sessions create opportunities to explore the intersection of specialty topics. While they may address the meeting theme, they will also contain discussion of both the specialty topics involved. Please stay tuned for information regarding Joint Sessions.

    Poster Session - Posters may address the meeting theme, but presenters can also address their current research interests. Posters are presented in the Exhibit Hall.


    Specialty Session Calls for Papers

    Book and Paper Session: The Book and Paper Group (BPG) of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) seeks abstracts for the 45th Annual Meeting, held in Chicago, IL, USA, May 28 through June 1, 2017.

    Abstracts for the BPG sessions may be related to the overall 2017 AIC meeting theme, “Treatment 2017: Innovation in Conservation and Collections Care,” or address any other aspect of the conservation of art on paper, archival materials, bound volumes, manuscripts, or similar materials. The BPG program will include BPG presentation sessions, a joint session with the Research and Technical Studies group (RATS), the Art on Paper Conservation Discussion Group, and the Library Collections Conservation Discussion Group.

    The 2017 Annual Meeting theme may be expanded to address:
    • Reconsideration of historic procedures no longer in practice
    • Innovations in treatment design, documentation, and execution
    • Cutting edge technologies employed in treatments
    • Effective collection care steps that reduce the necessity or extent of interventive treatments
    • The incorporation of sustainability into conservation treatments
    • Ethical consideration and decisions made when approaching treatments
    • Treatments that did not go as planned
    • Treatments highlighted in exhibitions and displays
    • Treatments conducted in public spaces
    • Treatment collaborations and dialogues, ie: working with other conservation specialties, artists, craftsmen, curators, collectors.

    Abstracts for formal presentations in the BPG session may be submitted by anyone with an interest or role in conservation, including current BPG members, other Specialty Group members, and related professionals.

    Conservation in Private Practice Session: The Conservators in Private Practice (CIPP) Specialty Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) seeks abstracts to be included in the CIPP Seminar Session at the 45th Annual Meeting, held in Chicago, IL on Monday, May 29th, 1pm-5pm.

    Abstracts for the CIPP session may be related to the seminar theme, “Innovative “Tools” to Enhance Your Business” or address any other aspect of conservation, but should contain some element specific to operating a private practice.  

    Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):
    • Creative treatment solutions conducted by conservators in private practice
    • Innovative business practices, services or collaborations
    • Solutions for equipment, supply and services procurement
    • DIY equipment building
    • Studio design solutions
    • Ethical issues in conservation practice
    • Innovative and useful gadgets, apps, technology, computer programs, and websites 
    • Digital imaging upgrades or digital rights and usage 

    Contact Scott M. Haskins, Program Chair, 805-564-3438 or faclartdoc@gmail.com, or Kerith Koss Schrager, Vice Chair, 212-920-5535 or kerith.koss@gmail with questions or to discuss abstract ideas.

    Collection Care Network Session:
    The Collection Care Network (CCN) of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) seeks abstracts for the 45th Annual Meeting, held in Chicago, IL, USA, May 28 through June 1, 2017.

    Abstracts for the CCN session may be related to the overall 2017 AIC meeting theme, “Treatment 2017: Innovation in Conservation and Collections Care,” or address any other aspect of collection care.  Please see our website for further ideas and information: http://www.conservation-us.org/specialty-topics/collection-care

    The 2017 Annual Meeting theme may be expanded to address:

    • Decisions about items, collections, or risks, that fit within and contribute to a continuum of strategic collection care 
    • The 'treatment of risk' approach to lessening threats to collections 
    • Collection care programs intended to enhance the utility and prolong the lifetime of cultural property
    • Effective collection care strategies that reduce the need for interventive treatments 

    Electronic Media Session: The Electronic Media Group (EMG) of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) seeks abstracts for the 45th Annual Meeting, held in Chicago, IL, USA, May 28 through June 1, 2017.

    Abstracts for the EMG sessions are encouraged to be related to the overall 2017 theme, “Treatment 2017: Innovation in Conservation and Collections Care,” but may address any other aspect of the conservation of time-based media and digital art, electronic component materials, and related areas. The 2017 Annual Meeting theme may be expanded to address:

    • Digitization and file format questions
    • Storage and migration strategies for digital files and artwork
    • Technologies used to render artworks for public display
    • Emulation of software-based artworks
    • Educational initiatives related to working in the digital space
    • Reconsideration of historic procedures no longer in practice
    • Innovations in treatment design, documentation, and execution
    • Sustaining analog electronic art in digital age
    • Ethical consideration and decisions made when approaching treatments
    • Conservation projects that did not go as planned
    • Collaborations, oral histories, dialogues, i.e.,: working with other specialties, archivists, artists, curators, collectors.

    Abstracts for formal presentations in the EMG session may be submitted by anyone with an interest or role in conservation, including current group members, other Specialty Group members, and related professionals.

    Paintings Session:
    The Paintings Specialty Group (PSG) invites submissions for papers and posters to be presented at the 45th Annual Conference in Chicago. 

    While proposals incorporating aspects of the general theme, "Treatment 2017: Innovation in Conservation and Collection Care," are strongly encouraged, the selection committee will also accept outstanding scholarship relating to paintings conservation that falls beyond the scope of treatment.  

    If you have any questions, please contact PSG Program Chair Kelly Keegan (kkeegan@artic.edu).

    Research and Technical Studies Session: 
    The Research and Technical Studies Group (RATS) seeks abstracts for the upcoming AIC conference in Chicago. Abstract submissions of original work related the topics below are encouraged, although papers otherwise related to any aspect of research and technical studies of cultural heritage will be considered. Topics for 2017 may include:

    • Two special joint sessions of RATS/PSG and RATS/BPG to explore technical studies and research related to both specialties (see Joint Sessions listings below);
    • Technical studies of collection materials (other than paintings and book/paper artifacts); 
    • Scientific research devoted to conservation materials and treatment methodologies;
    • Development of new analytical techniques as applied to the study of cultural heritage collections;
    • Unexpected discoveries that have impacted conservation practice or the interpretation of cultural heritage.

    Please note that RATS will produce a post-print of annotated power-points from their sessions. These annotated power-points are due by June 30, 2017.

    Please contact Kristin DeGhetaldi (RATS Program Chair, kdeghetal@yahoo.com) or Corina Rogge (RATS Assistant Program Chair, crogge@mfah.org) with any questions.

    Textiles Session: The Textile Specialty Group (TSG) of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) is seeking abstracts for the 45th Annual Meeting, held in Chicago, IL, USA, May 28 through June 1, 2017. The theme for this meeting will be “Treatments 2017: Innovation in Conservation and Collection Care.” 

    Colleagues are invited to submit abstracts that address the theme from many perspectives including (but not limited to):
    • Innovations in treatments, exhibition mounts, and storage systems
    • Reflections on historical practices that have evolved or been replaced
    • New technologies used in treatments, storage, analyses, or documentation
    • Collections care strategies that reduce the need for, or extent of, interventive treatments
    • Collaborative and cross-disciplinary work with conservators in other specializations, collections care colleagues, scientists, curators, and other allied professionals
    • Treatments that did not go as planned
    • Ethical considerations and decision making during treatments and collections care work

    Abstracts relating to cleaning treatments are particularly encouraged. 
    • Wet cleaning
    • Bleach treatments
    • Use of solvents
    • Poultices and other spot treatments

    While abstracts that directly relate to the meeting theme are strongly encouraged, the selection committee also welcomes all scholarly submissions that broadly relate to textile conservation.

    Please contact TSG Program Chair Laura Mina if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions at Laura.Mina@metmuseum.org.

    Wooden Artifacts Session:  The Wooden Artifacts Group (WAG) of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) seeks abstracts for papers to be presented at the AIC 45th Annual Meeting in Chicago Illinois, May 28–June 1, 2017.
      
    The overall meeting theme will be "Treatment 2017: Innovation in Conservation and Collection Care" but we welcome any topics related to Wooden Artifacts- including technical and historic research, documentation, preventive care, cross-disciplinary work, and any fun or interesting projects you’ve been involved with!

    Please note that there will be a post-print from this session, and that the print versions of papers are due by June 30, 2017. While speakers are not compensated and must pay the conference registration fee (single day registration is available), financial assistance may be available for participants from abroad. Please inquire if you wish to apply for such assistance.

    Please contact WAG Program Chair Genevieve Bieniosek (gbieniosek@gmail.com) with any questions, comments or suggestions. We look forward to your submissions!


    Joint Session Call for Papers

    Architecture/Wooden Artifacts Joint Session: The Architecture Specialty Group (ASG) and Wooden Artifacts Group (WAG) of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) invite submissions for papers to be presented at a joint ASG / WAG session at the AIC Annual Meeting in Chicago, May 28–June 1, 2017. The theme for AIC’s 45th Annual Meeting will be "Treatment 2017: Innovation in Conservation and Collection Care."

    The joint session will focus on the intersection of wooden objects and architectural conservation, ranging from preventative care to full treatments. Given the many similarities and overlaps between the specialties including design, substrates and coatings, it is sure to be an interesting session. Papers may address the overall meeting theme, but all topics will be considered.

    Note that while speakers are not compensated and must pay the conference registration fee (single day registration is available), financial assistance may be available for participants from abroad. Please inquire if you wish to apply for such assistance. Please contact Andrew Fearon (ASG Program Chair, afearon@mccollab.com) or Genevieve Bieniosek (WAG Program Chair, gbieniosek@gmail.com) with any questions.

    Book & Paper/Research & Technical Studies Joint Session: Book and Paper Group (BPG) and Research and Technical Studies Group (RATS) are pleased to announce a joint session at the upcoming AIC conference in Chicago. We encourage treatment related research with a focus on case studies, collaborative projects, innovative technology, and practical applications of analytical findings. We welcome all research ideas. Possible topics include but are not limited to the evaluation and analysis of:

    • Aqueous treatments, conductivity and pH
    • Rigid gels for treatment of books and works on paper 
    • Silicone-based cleaning systems for water sensitive surfaces
    • Treatment sequences - ie: washing, bleaching (oxidation followed by reducing), and chelating agents
    • Modern papers content (ie: optical brighteners) and treatment

    Please contact Victoria Binder (BPG Program Chair, vbinderbpg@gmail.com) or Kristin DeGhetaldi (RATS Program Chair, kdeghetal@yahoo.com) with any questions.

    Paintings/Research & Technical Studies Joint Session: Paintings Specialty Group (PSG) and Research and Technical Studies Group (RATS) are pleased to announce a joint session at the upcoming AIC conference in Chicago. Theme-related talks for the PSG/RATS joint session should focus on case studies, collaborative projects, and practical applications of analytical findings. In addition to treatment-related talks, technical studies of artists' materials with regard to a single work or across an oeuvre will also be considered. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

    • Evaluation, analysis, and/or use of aqueous, solvent-based, dry, mechanical, and/or other cleaning methods (soft/rigid gels, silicone solvents, emulsions, erasers, laser cleaning, etc.)
    • Evaluation and analysis of a change in a painting’s materials and condition and implications for treatment (metal soap formation, pigment fading, paint de-lamination, blanch/blooming, biological growth, efflorescence, etc.)
    • Evaluation and analysis of previous and current treatment strategies and materials used in treatment (proprietary materials, adhesives for lining/consolidation, surface coatings, stress/strain and mechanical testing of lining supports, etc.)

    Please contact Kelly Keegan (PSG Program Chair, kkeegan@artic.edu) or Kristin DeGhetaldi (RATS Program Chair, kdeghetal@yahoo.com) with any questions.



    How to Submit Materials in the Online Portal

    When you enter the online portal, you need to submit login information. If you have an email address in our system (i.e., if you are an AIC member or have logged into the AIC site before), you will be asked to enter your password (the same password you use to log in to the site). If you do not have an account in our system, you will be asked to set one up before you begin your application.  As you add content to your submission, use the “Save” function as you work. Only use the “Save and Finalize” option when you are completely finished with your abstract. Once you have finalized your work, you should receive an automated email confirming your submission. If you do not receive this email within 24 hours, review your abstract and make sure you are no longer seeing an option to edit your work. You can track your submitted abstract(s) under the “My Submissions” option in the left menu. 

    If you have any technical issues or if you have questions about the abstract selection process, please contact us at annualmeeting@conservation-us.org

    Selecting Sessions in the Online Portal:
  • You may submit an abstract for a combination of the three session types: General Sessions, Specialty/Joint Specialty Sessions, or Poster Session. If you feel that your presentation would only be applicable to certain sessions, you may submit your presentation to only those sessions. You may select the same session for all three choices if you are only interested in presenting in one session. If you are only submitting the abstract for consideration in two sessions, indicate one of the two sessions twice.
  • When listing your three session choices, please remember that if you are interested in a joint session, choose the option that lists both groups. For example: if you want your second choice to be the Book and Paper and Photographic Materials Joint Session, don’t select "Book and Paper Session" AND "Photographic Materials Session" but select the "Book and Paper and Photographic Materials" Joint Session.
  • To be considered for the Poster session, you must indicate "Poster" as either your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice. If you mark "Poster" for all three choices, you are indicating you would only like your abstract to be considered for the poster session.


    Abstracts are due on September 12, 2016. Abstracts are not to exceed 500 words, not including title or biographical information. All abstracts should be submitted in English.