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Collaborate, learn, and network with your colleagues both in person and online. Attend our annual meeting, the largest conference in North America for conservation professionals.

Call for Submissions

"Conservation: Reactive and Proactive"

We work in a rapidly changing world. Globally, the economy is volatile, the marketplace demanding, and the negative impact of climate change looms large in conservation. Many collecting institutions have shifted their priorities to preventive conservation for collections and interactive learning in exhibitions, which can decrease emphasis on traditional conservation treatment and the supremacy of original display materials.

Conservation professionals are drawing from a wide skill set to respond to these challenges in creative and productive ways. From offering conservation services that go beyond treatment, to focusing on sustainability, to utilizing materials science and technical art history in public education, our field is adapting and evolving.

In 2020, we’ll explore ways we can anticipate and embrace change. How are you meeting your biggest challenges? Please join us to share your triumphs and reflect on areas for growth.

Abstract Submission now closed

Late abstracts accepted on a case-by-case basis at meetings@culturalheritage.org.


4 Ways to Contribute to Our Conference

1. Opening General Session

  • Talks should be short, idea-focused and address the theme of “Navigating Change.”
  • Talks should be 15 minutes or less, and include a few slides in a style similar to TED talks.
  • Talks should reflect a diversity of voices and perspectives, as well foster learning or inspire conversation.
  • Talks submitted to this session do not preclude submission of a separate abstract to the Concurrent General or Specialty Sessions.

2. Breakout Sessions

Concurrent General Sessions

  • Presentations must specifically address the meeting theme.
  • Presentations submitted to any concurrent topic will be reviewed for all four topics.
  • Selecting Concurrent Session as a first choice will not reduce your chances of being selected by a specialty session should we not select your abstract for a concurrent session. 
  • Presentation should conform to either: our standard arrangement of no more than 2 speakers presenting in a 30-minute time slot; or a panel presentation for 3 to 6 panelists in a 90-minute time slot.
  • For more information about these sessions, see our Concurrent General Session page.

Specialty Sessions

  • Presentations may address the meeting theme, but they may also explore other topics relevant to that specialty.
  • Sessions include: Architecture, Book and Paper, Collection Care, Electronic Media, Objects, Photographic Materials, Paintings, Research and Technical Studies, Textiles, and Wooden Artifacts.
  • Joint Specialty Session presentations may address the meeting theme, but they also contain discussion of the intersection of the specialty topics involved. Joint sessions are planned based on the abstract submissions received for a particular year; select two different specialties if your paper will appeal to both. 
  • Presentations  should conform to either: our standard arrangement of no more than 2 speakers presenting in a 30-minute time slot or a panel presentation for 3 to 6 panelists in a 90-minute time slot.
  • For more information about these sessions, see our Specialty Sessions page.

Poster Session

  • Posters may address the meeting theme, but presenters can also address their current research interests.
  • Posters are available during the main meeting days with an author Q&A scheduled on the second day of the full meeting.
  • Select "Poster" as your third session choice if submitting an abstract for a Concurrent General or Specialty Session that you would also like us to consider for a poster presentation.
  • Select "Poster" for all three choices if you do not want to give an oral presentation (aside from a poster Q&A session).
  • Viewers should easily understand a poster topic without additional materials or interpretation when on display. 

3. Workshops

  • Workshops provide hands-on training and education for conservators and allied professionals.
  • Workshops cover a broad range of topics to enhance training and education for conservators and allied professionals and may focus on specific materials, specialties, new techniques or skills useful to our members, knowledge adapted from allied professionals that is pertinent to the annual meeting audience, or act as a refresher course on processes useful to the care of cultural materials.
  • Workshops will take place on the two pre-conference days of May 19-20 and last for one half day, one full day, or two full days.
  • Workshops are almost always ticketed and have an additional cost for participants beyond the base meeting registration. 
  • Read through our Annual Meeting Workshop Proposal Guidelines.

4. Pre-meeting and Lunch Sessions

  • Presentations should relate to the theme or another topic of interest to attendees.
  • Presentations of 30 minutes or panels of 60 to 90 minutes are the standard format. However, the program committee is open to considering other formats.
  • Pre-meeting sessions will take place on the two days prior to the conference (May 19-20, 2020).

You may submit multiple abstracts; however, please only submit one abstract for consideration on a topic.