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Calls for Papers & Proposals

In accordance with our identity as an international, interdisciplinary scholarly organization that fosters the study of books and other textual artifacts in traditional and emerging formats, the Bibliographical Society of America pursues its mission by hosting public programs and collaborating with related organizations to do so.

The Event Committee issues tri-annual calls in January, April, and October that are similar to open calls for conference proposals; from time to time, the Committee may call for proposals around a specific theme. We request a general overview of the content of sessions and presenters as well as information about the budget, promotion, and general organization of the event. This allows us to compensate presenters and organizers with honoraria for their intellectual and organizational labor and to cover other necessary costs.

In all BSA events, the material text – that is, handwritten, printed, or other textual artifacts, broadly conceived – as historical evidence, and/or the theory and practice of descriptive, historical, and/or critical bibliography, should be a central concern to participants and organizers.

Our events strive to center diverse perspectives covering wide-ranging topics as outlined in our Equity Action Plan.
Through our distributed conference model, BSA reduces its carbon footprint and meets you where you are by lowering barriers to participation. We have hosted bibliographical events both online and in-person at various locations throughout North America and, when possible, elsewhere in the world. Such events can include but are not limited to:

  • lectures,
  • panel presentations,
  • hands-on workshops,
  • conference sessions,
  • and receptions following events that are bibliographical in nature.

We strive to make our events free for attendees and open to all.

For more information about the types of events that BSA hosts and sponsors, please see the Past and Upcoming Events pages on our website. The Events Committee is especially eager to sponsor events that help the Society to achieve the objectives set out in its Equity Action Plan, which states:

The Society will continue to expand BSA events in terms of representation, coverage, and access. In-person and virtual events should cover a wide range of subjects, feature presenters from under-represented groups, and take place in geographically dispersed, physically accessible locations or with virtual equivalents (closed-captioning, etc.). Priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate a commitment to these values.

Review guidelines, deadlines, and submit a proposal here.

External Calls for Papers and Proposals

Through the BSA Liaison Sub-Committee, the Society has established relationships with various other learned societies and sponsors programs at their conferences. These conference calls for papers and others for sessions coincidentally organized by BSA members are posted here.

Email to post a call on our website!

The Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the American Library Association – 2023 Conference Call for Papers – “A New Kind of Professional”

The RBMS Annual Conference will be held at Indiana University Bloomington and online from June 27-30, 2023.

RBMS invites proposals for in-person or virtual individual papers, panels, discussion sessions, lightning talks (including the Power of New Voices session), posters, seminars and workshops. For over two decades, calls for increased diversity, equity, and inclusion across the profession and our broader cultural heritage networks have sparked passionate discussions about how we educate, whose talent we are (or are not) retaining, labor practices and how they shape our work, chronic lack of funds and unfilled vacancies, and the continued dominance of wealthy, white, cisgendered people in the few positions of power that offer adequate resources for living. We commit to continuous improvement in accessibility and transparency in the proposal process, and to providing clarity and openness in finalizing the program.

How do we become the workers, colleagues, and thinkers we want to be? How do we encourage, teach, and provide opportunities for others to do the same? What does the future of cultural heritage work look like, and how do we prepare ourselves, as well as guide new practitioners?