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DCDC18: Memory and Transformation

The Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities (DCDC) 2018 conference, 'Memory and Transformation', will consider the interplay between memory and transformation within heritage organisations and their wider impact on the cultural landscape. We will seek to examine how, through developing new points of entry to collections, archives, libraries, museums and galleries, we can work collaboratively with each other and academic organisations to meet strategic ambitions. Further, we will explore how to meaningfully engage with different audiences and communities whose far reaching interests can often have an equally transformational impact on our own professional cultures.

Memory is a thread running through every collection: their content, their production, their physicality, their journey and current use. The memories held in collections can both connect us with the past, immersing us in experiences through the eyes of others, and inform the future through innovative research and the development of new ideas, technology, science and art. The important role that scientific collections and heritage organisations have played in the health of the human mind, including through reminiscence therapies and supporting mental wellness, are examples of their potential and value to individuals and society.

In 2018 the centenary anniversary of the First World War comes to a close, presenting an opportunity for reflection on the range of activities, especially around collections, over the preceding four years. The role of anniversaries in work of archives, libraries, museums and other heritage organisations has played an important role in securing funding and footfall in recent years, with events for Magna Carta 800 and Shakespeare 400 dominating the cultural landscape. How do these occasions allow institutions to produce innovative collaborations and engage new audiences? Is the question ‘why now?’ on every funding application a blessing, or does heritage risk being dominated by the cult of remembrance?

In contrast, forgetting and the absence of memories can be as powerful as their presence. There are fundamental questions to be asked around the collecting of memories. Which communities and individuals are, or are not, represented within collections, and what we can do to ensure their voices will continue to be heard?

Finally, at the heart of all these questions is the subject of technology and digital methodologies. These will play a vital role in preserving the ‘memories of the future’, with the potential to preserve more memories of more individuals and communities than ever before and transform institutional and professional practices.

DCDC18 invites proposals on this year’s theme of ‘memory and transformation’ on any project involving archives, libraries, museums and other heritage and cultural organisations in partnership with each other, communities and the academic sector.

Proposals
The main conference themes will include, but are not limited to, the following:

Commemoration: anniversaries, statues & memorials and national memory.
Physical memory: production, materiality and physical engagement with collections.
Artificial memory: deception, forgery and fake news.
Institutional memory: cross-sectoral skills, hidden knowledge and ‘memory institutions’?
Cultural transformations on working practice: when, how and why?
Hidden memories: minority communities, representation and oral histories.
Future memories: digital amnesia, the cloud and missing collections.
Immersive memories: 3D modelling, multi-sensory engagement and virtual reality.
Health and culture: dementia, mental health and wellbeing.
Spatial memory: landscapes, journeys and buildings.
Fundraising and cultural memory: collaboration, public engagement and impact.

Within this year’s theme examples of funded collaborative projects between cultural heritage and academic organisations are especially welcome. In particular, it would be pertinent to hear about projects and case studies which can demonstrate impact and value at institutional, local, national or international level.

For full details, click here.  

Deadline: Friday, 27 April 2017