CFP: Convergence: Special themed issue – Digital Archives & Open Archival Practices

Convergence: Special themed issue Vol 21, no 1 (February 2015)

Digital Archives & Open Archival Practices

Guest Editors: Sarah Atkinson and Sarah Whatley

This special issue aims to bring together researchers, artists, professionals and practitioners from the field of digital archives and the archiving of practice with an emphasis upon Art, Design, Media, Film and Performing arts disciplines. It specifically aims to explore the affordances of digital technologies upon archival practices.

Within digital archival practices, there is a notable shift from the closed to the open and from the traditional single-user archive model to emerging multi-user, collaborative forms of archival practices and scholarship. The digital preservation and presentation of archival materials dramatically impacts upon the nature and notion of access. The types of discoveries, insights and findings that can be made through online digital interfaces can be radically altered.

The call for papers will invite contributions that focus on the widest range of digital archives (film, dance, sound, oral history etc), that consider national and international collections, which might focus on archival strategies, policy, copyright and education, and which consider technological aspects of digital archiving including the semantic web, analytics, meta-data, tagging and time-based meta-data.

The editors are particularly interested in encouraging submissions from a range of contexts, originating from academic research, policy making and from the archival professions. Contributions will be welcomed, but are not limited to, articles and pieces that address the following questions:

·      How are digital archives changing our experience of the ‘live’?

·      To what extent do digital archives ask us to re-evaluate the value of archival collections; how are digital archives altering our perception of the ‘archive’?

·      What are the critical discourses and practices that help us make sense of the role and impact of digital archives in contemporary society?

·      How do digital archival practices shift our view of the ‘archive’ and the ‘archivist’?

·      How do digital archives participate in artistic practice?

·      To what extent does the representation of art and artists in digital archives shift, diminish or support artists’ practice?

·      What role does design play in the creation, curation and visualization of artistic practice in digital archives?

·      To what extent do digital archives prompt us to reconsider the value, place and purpose of the archive in contemporary society?

·      What role does the user have in constructing the archive?

·      How do born and re-born digital archives contribute to the discourse of ephemerality and permanence in contemporary arts practice?

·      What is the future of digital archives in contemporary arts practice?

·      What are the nature and functions of the digital archive in education, research and scholarship?

·      How can digital archives contribute to the notion of a digital public space?

·      How can the consideration of digital archives and open archival practices most usefully contribute to the Open Source, Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practices (OEP) movements?


Standard articles will be in the range of 4000-8000 words. A more flexible approach may be possible for other formats and styles of submission (for example interviews, reports or reviews) so we encourage contributors to contact the Editors in the first instance to discuss their ideas prior to submission.  Full details about how to submit are available here:

Submission of full papers to the Editors by February 28 2014.

The special issue will follow the Digital Echoes Symposium at Coventry University in January 2014. A call for papers for the Symposium will be issued shortly and confirmation of participation will be in November 2013. Presenters at the Symposium will be invited to consider contributing developed papers for the special issue of the Journal.

All correspondence and submissions to both:

Sarah Atkinson<>

Sarah Whatley<>