MAC 2021: Archivists Respond
Call for Session, Poster, and Virtual Tour Proposals

The Midwest Archives Conference will hold the 2021 Annual Meeting May 13-14th in a virtual format. The Program Committee is inviting proposals for sessions, posters, and virtual tours, by Friday, January 15 at 5 p.m. CDT, addressing the 2021 theme, Archivists Respond. 


2020 has brought both challenges and opportunities to archivists. How have archivists responded to the pandemic, budget cuts, remote work, shutdowns, and civic unrest? What opportunities were presented to archivists, such as community engagement, working on backlogs, and focus on digital projects? What other clouds and silver linings have archivists encountered in their work? What work and projects have archivists undertaken that adapt to cultural, societal, and environmental changes?


Presenters may submit more than one proposal, but may present only one session OR poster.


Session Proposals

The Program Committee invites session proposals addressing the 2021 theme, Archivists Respond. All presentations will be virtual and may be recorded. Each session will be one hour long. 


Session possibilities include but are not limited to: 

  • Innovative outreach programs responding to current events or for a digital audience
  • Adapting instruction programs and reference for an online audience
  • Strategies and successes working together remotely
  • Re-opening, finding ways to interact in person with the pandemic in mind
  • Collection management or digitization projects tackled during this year
  • Adaptations to providing services on a limited budget
  • Adapting collection strategies to rapid social change

Possible virtual session types

  • Standard Presentations: Two to four speakers present on a common theme. May include a moderator to steer discussion and/or introduce speakers and theme.
  • PechaKucha: Each presentation consists of 20 slides or images displayed for 20 seconds each, with comment. Each presentation lasts 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
  • Lightning Talks: Like PechaKucha, but without a set format. May or may not include slides or images. Presentations may be from 3 to 10 minutes long, with the time allotted depending on the number of presenters.
  • Debate: Moderator announces the topic, and two other people debate. May include more than one topic and additional debaters

Session Proposal Evaluation
The Program Committee will evaluate all proposals submitted by the deadline using the following criteria:

  • Merit and clarity of the 250-word abstract;
  • Completeness of the proposal, particularly having well-developed content and sufficient speakers to address all relevant aspects of the topic;
  • A clear connection to the program’s theme;
  • Originality of proposed topic;
  • Diversity of the content and speaker representation;
  • Appropriateness of proposed format with session content;
  • Completeness of proposal and presenters; and
  • Consideration taken for proposals accepted to the 2020 MAC Annual Meeting, and other archives-related cancelled conferences.

Poster Proposals

The Program Committee invites poster proposal submissions on all aspects of archival practice and research, as well as from allied and related fields. Submissions are welcome from all MAC members, especially students and new professionals, and can be solo or group presentations. Poster sessions are a means to communicate and exchange ideas, programs, research, and projects to fellow MAC meeting attendees.  While the method of delivery for posters is still being determined, poster presenters can expect to present their content for 5-10 minutes with some form of Q&A. 


Poster possibilities include but are not limited to: 

  • A description of an innovative archives program
  • An examination of a practical, problem-solving endeavor
  • An explanation of a research investigation
  • Unique archival project or case study

Poster Proposal Evaluation
The Program Committee will evaluate all proposals submitted by the deadline and using the following criteria:

  • Merit and clarity of the 250-word abstract
  • Completeness of the proposal, particularly having well-developed content to understand all relevant aspects of the topic.

Virtual Tour Proposals

One of the most popular parts of the MAC Conference experience is tours of local archives. This year, the Program Committee seeks submissions for virtual tours. Show off your archives to your fellow MAC members! We hope this provides archival institutions of all sizes, and from all over the MAC region, a chance to participate. 


Virtual Tour possibilities include but are not limited to: 

  • Tours of your stacks or reading room
  • A guided tour of an exhibit
  • Highlighting a selection of items to talk about individually, or talking about a popular or significant collection 
  • Overview of recent improvements or adaptations to current circumstances.

The format would ideally be pre-recorded and last no more than 45 minutes. 

Possible formats of a virtual tour include:

  • A pre-recorded video of your space or exhibit 
  • A pre-recorded video highlighting unique collections or items at your institution
  • A slide-show presentation of photos highlighting your spaces and/or exhibit areas
  • Hybrid of photos and video

The Program Committee is open to other ideas for sharing and touring spaces virtually.


Virtual Tour Proposal Evaluation
The Program Committee will review all proposals submitted by the deadline under the following criteria:

  • A 250-word abstract that includes name, location, and size of archival collections
  • 5-10 photos to give an idea of the space and 
  • 5-10 photos of individual items or of a collection you wish to highlight

Presenter Representation

The Program Committee seeks a diverse slate of presenters representing a variety of personal and institutional backgrounds, perspectives, and voices. We seek to foster a culture of inclusion in the MAC program and encourage submissions from anyone who is interested in presenting, including students, new professionals, first-time presenters, and those from allied professions. 


To facilitate collaboration among those brainstorming session ideas, the Program Committee encourages use of the MAC Facebook page and the spreadsheet for brainstorming session proposal ideas or the spreadsheet for brainstorming poster ideas. Presenters may submit more than one proposal, but may present only one session OR poster.


Proposal Submission
The deadline for submitting all proposals for the 2021 MAC Annual Meeting is Friday, January 15 at 5 p.m. CDT. Use the submission forms below to submit your proposal(s). 


Notification

Individuals with proposals chosen for inclusion in the MAC 2021 Annual Meeting will be notified by  March 2021, and all individuals involved in an accepted session, poster, or virtual tour must sign a presenter agreement. 


If you have any questions about the proposal process, please contact the 2021 Program Committee co-chairs, Cara Bertram and Kayla Harris.