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4th April, 2017

Call for papers for DCDC17: The cultural value of collections and the creative economy

In today’s uncertain political and economic climate the ability to demonstrate why heritage and culture matter – and to whom – has never been more important or relevant. The ways in which we gather, measure and present evidence of cultural value and impact has attracted increasing attention in recent years, as emphasis has led to a stronger focus on the experience of individuals and of communities.

Archives, libraries, museums and heritage organisations across the UK and further afield have played a leading role in this movement. They have actively looked to examine, capture and measure the wider social, cultural and economic impact of their collections, and to engage more effectively with a wider variety of audiences. Work in this area continues to evolve, as does the need for new and better ways of evidencing value and impact through continuing research and the effective sharing of experiences within and between sectors.

DCDC17 will consider how, by working collaboratively through networks of inter and cross-disciplinary initiatives, we can continue to improve and develop methodologies in order to build a strong evidence base to demonstrate the demonstrate the cultural value of collections and their contribution to the creative economy.

We welcome proposals on collaborative projects involving library, archive, museum, heritage and cultural sectors in partnership with communities, scholars, education and funders.


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

  1. Heritage and the human experience: hidden voices, social cohesion, diversity and public wellbeing.
  2. The cultural landscape: heritage buildings, regeneration, and engaging audiences with real and imagined environments.
  3. Curative collections: understanding and reflecting voices in conflict, dissent, displacement, repatriation and recovery.
  4. New value in old things: opening up collections through original research, heritage science, the internet, and digital technology.
  5. Collections and enterprise: the challenges and opportunities of utilising collections for revenue generation, managing the relationship between culture and the corporate, and overcoming the hurdles of copyright.
  6. Innovative interpretations: presenting traditional collections to new audiences through art, design, and performance.
  7. Measuring value: holistic value frameworks, benchmarking, cultural and academic partnerships, impact, and the REF.
  8. The politics of collections: advocacy for collections, funding, institutional and community support and investment.


All abstracts should be submitted by Sunday 30 April.

Download the pdf for more information on the submission format and the conference.

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