Artist Archives in the South: A 2017 Unconference


The ASA project is delighted to be able to offer small travel grants ($400) to a limited number of attendees of the unconference this Saturday! If you are coming from long-distance, please write ASAP to JJ Bauer at with a brief paragraph explaining why this event is of critical importance to you so that the ASA team may evaluate requests and allocate grants as equitably as possible. Because these grants were only approved in this last week before the unconference is taking place, we will need to reimburse participants after attending, so please include with your request the name of the possible payee as well as a mailing address where we can send a check later.

Registration is now open!

To register, follow this link:

Artists’ Archives in the South, an unconference-style symposium at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on March 11, 2017, will create a focused and productive atmosphere for participants to discuss, work through, and explore the latest methods, tools, and issues related to the archiving of artists’ records. Convening archivists, artists, art historians, librarians, digital humanities specialists, museum specialists, and other practitioners and scholars interested in working with artists’ records in the South, the symposium aims to amplify and build on efforts established in Learning from Artists’ Archives, a program for developing practical strategies for all stakeholders to preserve artists’ archives in North Carolina.

The Learning from Artists’ Archives program, launched in 2014 and funded by an Institute of Museums and Library Services grant, supports six Fellows, dual degree students in Art History and Library/Information Science at UNC Chapel Hill. Providing a model for similar educational initiatives hosted in other locations around the country, the program empowers artists to develop best practices for personal and studio archiving via hands-on skill development workshops, while also engaging current and future arts information professionals in an ongoing conversation about the representation of artists’ records in our cultural institutions.

Additional co-sponsor: Institute for the Arts and Humanities, UNC-Chapel Hill

When: 9:30am – 4pm on March 11, 2017

Where: Pleasants Family Room in the Louis Round Wilson Library at UNC-Chapel Hill

Why: The unconference will amplify and build on efforts established in the Learning from Artists’ Archives program to develop practical strategies for artists, archivists, librarians, and curators to build, maintain, and use artists’ archives. In order to share lessons learned and methods honed in that program, as well as to ensure multidisciplinary input, we invite attendees to submit proposals for talk, work, make, and play sessions in all areas relating to artists’ archives.

Potential topic areas could include:

  •  The future of artists’ archives
  • Creating your own “Archiving for Artists” workshop
  • Providing access to artists’ records
  • Using artists’ archives in exhibitions
  • Archive donation and legacy planning
  • How do artists use their own archives?
  • Some benefits of artists’ archives to art historians

How much: Registration is free but limited—we expect spaces to fill quickly.

What is an “unconference”?
An unconference is a participant-driven meeting in which the agenda is proposed and set by attendees at the outset. Interdisciplinary, interprofessional, and informal, the unconference eschews the lecture format of the traditional conference in order to foster collaborative discussion, making, and experimentation sessions among equally involved attendees. The ideal unconference is non-hierarchical, focused, and geared towards problem-solving. For more information, see the Wikipedia entry on unconferences.

Conference Sponsors

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