Call for Abstracts – Preserving Disability: Disability and the Archival Profession (Litwin Books)

Edited by: Gracen Brilmyer and Lydia Tang

Submission form: Please submit your abstract and author details

Looking for collaborators? Contribute your ideas and connect with others on our brainstorming document

Questions for the editors? Contact Gracen Brilmyer & Lydia Tang

Key Points:

– Abstracts due: February 19, 2022

– Invitations to submit full papers: March 1, 2022

– Full papers due: July 1, 2022

– Estimated publication date: September 2023

We are inviting contributions from disabled archivists and disabled archival users to bring critical perspectives and approaches to the archival profession for a forthcoming book, Preserving Disability: Disability and the Archival Profession (to be published by Litwin Books). This book aims to explicitly address disability, ableism, and accessibility as they intersect with the archival profession—through collection development, archival labor, and accessing historical records. We seek submissions that cover topics including but not limited to:

  • Historical overviews of disability and/or accessibility in the archival field and profession
  • Overviews of accessibility, legal regulations, standards, and best practices across different types of archives—community, university, government, corporate, etc.
  • Critiques of standards and initiatives that emphasize legal compliance over actual users 
  • First-person experiences from disabled archivists or users working with disability collections and connecting with the past
  • Disabled archivists experiences in the workplace: job requirements, disclosure, accommodations, self-advocacy, and ableism
  • Professional values, ableist expectations, and job precarity for disabled archivists (for tenure, promotions, contract renewal, etc.) 
  • Funding and fundraising around disability and accessibility
  • Disability collection appraisal, acquisition, description, and preservation
  • Archival absences in collections and the evolving concept of who and what is worthy of remembrance
  • Navigating challenges with privacy and access for disability collections
  • Disabled users’ experiences of accessibility or inaccessibility of digital and/or physical spaces, archival content, and services
  • Gatekeeping and stigmatization: the policing of behavior, bodies, and disabled people in reading rooms
  • Disability community engagement: creating and sustaining relationships with donors, creators, and community members for historical documentation, events, and outreach
  • Proposals or best practices for disabled leadership and disability-centered hiring, inclusive workplaces, and job models
  • Calls to action for archives to better support disabled archivists, users, and disability-related collections

We welcome contributions especially from multiply marginalized or minoritized archival workers and users of archives as well as a broad representation of archival repository types. We also actively seek contributors from outside academia who reflect on their experiences in archives. 

Abstracts are encouraged to be under 500 words in length. 

Please submit your abstract and author details by February 19, 2022.

We are also recruiting peer reviewers for this book. If you wish to be considered as a peer reviewer, please fill out the Peer Reviewer Recruitment form. Possible peer reviewers will be contacted in late spring.