Call for Proposals

We are pleased to announce that the annual Personal Digital Archiving 2016 conference will be hosted at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on May 12-14, 2016.

As the centrality of personal digital archives and the ubiquity of digital content grows, librarians, archivists, scholars, students, activists, and those who fill the role of the "family IT person," have to deal with how to best select, preserve, and manage digital material. PDA 2016 seeks to host a discussion across domains focusing on how to best manage personal digital material, be it at a large institution or in a home office.

Personal Digital Archiving 2016 invites proposals on a variety of relevant topics, suggested but not limited to:

  • Personal digital archives and why they matter to individuals, communities, and organizations
  • Distinctions between personal information management and the archive
  • Key threats to personal digital archives
  • Applying selection criteria to personal digital archives
  • The digital archive during a person's life and after death
  • Management tools and techniques for personal digital archives  
  • Costs associated with maintaining a personal digital archive

We also welcome proposals for hands-on full and half-day workshops for Saturday, May 14. In particular, workshops may be focused on mobilizing communities of interest or on digital archive tools and techniques.

For PDA 2016, we seek to create a balanced showcase for current and emerging scholarship on personal information management and personal digital archiving, as well as for exciting and innovative projects and programs. We strongly encourage proposals from a wide-range of people and organizations. These may include but are not limited to: community organizations focused on gathering oral histories or other local collections, academia, graduate students of all levels in all related disciplines, those preserving familial material, activist groups, hobbyists, tool developers, and information professionals such as archivists, librarians, and curators. For proposals focusing on sharing practice, please note that we are not only seeking "perfect" archiving solutions and strongly encourage proposals discussing "good enough" preservation and challenges or roadblocks to archiving this content.

PDA 2016 will follow the format of the last conference, with two days of presentations, panels, and posters, and a third day of workshops. The program committee seeks proposals for:

  • 10-­20 ­minute presentations
  • 5 ­minute lightning talks
  • posters (including demos)
  • workshops, particularly those emphasizing technology or procedures enabling grassroots of familial archiving efforts (taking place on the third day).

Your submissions should include:

  • The title of your presentation
  • For 10­-20­ minute presentations: a 300 ­word abstract
  • For lightning talks and posters: a 150-­300 word abstract
  • For workshop proposals: a 150­-300 word curriculum overview, including approximate number of hours needed, what tools will be taught, and computing infrastructure requirements
  • For panel proposals: a 150­-300 word overview of the topic and suggestions for additional presenters
  • A brief biographical sketch (a paragraph or so) or CV (no more than 2 pages)

The Program and Host Committees will group presentations by common themes when possible. Shorter presentations may be grouped into relevant panels. We will be incorporating a variety of discussion periods to encourage interaction and the sharing of different perspectives among what will hopefully be a diverse group of attendees.  

All proposals are due by Friday, January 15 (revised deadline). Submit proposals or any questions to the PDA 2016 Program Committee at


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Last modified: 12/07/2015