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Paper Trails special update CFP: ‘Hidden Voices’

Posted on March 20, 2022 by Margie Coughlin

In recent years, there has been an increasing recognition of the inherent inequalities in the way collections are acquired, described, and structured amongst collection professionals. A range of work is currently being undertaken in the sector to undo this legacy and find alternative ways of approaching the curation of collections that support the diversification of historical collections and that allow for greater representation of marginalised groups.

Examples include reviewing the terminology used in cataloguing, proactive  collection development, and co-curating exhibitions with members from marginalised groups.

There has been a concurring trend in  scholarship to draw on historical collections to reveal and reassess historically underrepresented voices of marginalised groups.

This themed update to Paper Trails will bring together practitioner, academic and student perspectives on issues relating to the mis- and underrepresentation of marginalised groups in historical collections and provide   a timely insight into the current challenges and debates in this area.  


Topics might include:

  • The discoverability of material relating to marginalised groups
  • Absent voices and silences in collections
  • Bias in cataloguing practices and its impact on research
  • Collection-based collaborations between collection professionals, academics, and members of marginalised groups
  • Profiles of collections that contain the voices and experiences of those usually excluded from historical collections

Paper Trails brings together a diverse group of people both in its pages and its readership – researchers, practitioners and students – as well as featuring different historical collections (print, object and digital) held in a wide variety of different libraries, museums and archives. Its content is designed to bridge different communities of research and practice. The BOOC format creates a ‘living book’, which is entirely open access and evolves over time, allowing for different formats of pieces to speak in conversation.

Proposals, submissions and any questions should be sent to the editor Dr Andrew WM Smith (a.smith@chi.ac.uk), who can liaise with the wider Editorial Board. When submitting, please indicate which Paper Trails stream you are submitting material for, and see our guidance for authors on the Paper Trails BOOC.

Submissions should be received by 30 September 2022.

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