Conference CFP: The Born Digital and Cultural Heritage

(Update 22/10/13: The conference website is now up, at  Updates and further information on the conference will be posted there.)

CFP: The Born Digital and Cultural Heritage, 19-20 June, 2014, Melbourne

Whilst many artefacts today are produced, distributed and consumed solely in digital form, this situation is not completely new.  Artefacts from previous eras have also been ‘born’ digital.  The advent of micro- or home computers in the mid-1970s and 80s, for instance, saw a range of digital artefacts produced, amongst them digital games, demos, and other early software.  These objects are complex and interesting as are the preservation challenges they pose.  To issues of hardware and software deterioration are added characteristics such as real-time responsiveness, highly-invested fan communities, and the earliness with which decisions about significance and preservation strategies must be arrived at.  Games preservation is emerging as an experimental domain where some of the thorniest issues in born digital cultural heritage are confronted.  No longer a niche endeavour limited to those who played titles ‘back in the day’, developments in games preservation and related fields are of relevance to many different cultural forms, their scholars and custodians.  Playability also creates interest in and enlivens the preservation message, making it easier for non-specialists to grasp.

We invite proposals for papers, panels, and workshops for an international conference on The Born Digital and Cultural Heritage, to be held at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne, 19-20 June, 2014.  Recognising that born digital artefacts often require multiple sets of expertise, we are keen to receive proposals from researchers and practitioners in the range of disciplines, spheres of practice and institutional contexts concerned with born digital heritage.  This includes libraries, archives, museums, galleries, moving image institutions, software repositories, universities, and more besides.  Proposals might be theoretical, practical, policy, or otherwise oriented.  Case studies of innovative practices, papers based on research with born digital artefacts, and new institutional approaches are equally welcome.

Possible topics include:

• Born digital histories

• Born digital items as cultural heritage

• Changing notions of the collection

• Vernacular digitality

• Selection, appraisal, deposit

• Jurisdictions, overlaps, gaps

• Resourcing, funding, partnerships

• Archiving of media arts, architecture, broadcasting, etc

• Relation of born digital preservation to digitisation programs

• Inter-agency cooperation, federations and networks

• Models of collaboration, outside experts, volunteers

• Access and exhibition

• Legal issues, intellectual property, orphaned works, legal deposit

• Workforce, capacity building, training

• New preservation and conservation techniques

• Case Studies and Best Practices: Processes, Metadata, Systems, Services, Infrastructures

We hope you will join us to engage with research and practice in those fields which underpin such critically important matters as the accessibility of born digital cultural heritage, now and into the future.

This conference is organised by the Play It Again team, a games history and preservation research project focused on microcomputer games created in 1980s Australia and New Zealand.  Play It Again is a multidisciplinary project involving scholars from Humanities, Computer Science, and Law from several Australian and New Zealand universities, working collaboratively with cultural heritage professionals at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the New Zealand Film Archive, and the Berlin Computerspiele Museum.  Play It Again received 3 year project funding (2012-14) under the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Projects scheme.

There will be a separate cultural sector workshop on the 18th June at Melbourne University, at which the Play It Again team will be sharing some of the learning from the project.

To propose a paper, please send an abstract of 300 words, plus keywords and references, and a brief author biography to  Abstracts are due 15 November, 2013.


(Updated: 18/10/13)


It is anticipated that there will be at least one publication following the conference.  Authors who would like their full conference paper to be considered for publication in a proceedings before the conference — in the Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology series — must follow a separate set of timelines and processes during the Call for Papers period.

Abstract submission deadline: 15 November 2013

Paper submission deadline:    29 November 2013

Author notification:          28 February 2014

Camera-ready paper due:       4 April 2014


Instructions for Authors (for the CRPIT Proceedings only)

Papers should be no more than 10 pages in length, and conform to the formatting instructions for the Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology series.  Resources for authors:

Each paper will undergo double-blind review by at least two reviewers. Papers will be judged on originality, significance, technical quality, and relevance to the conference. Accepted papers will be included in the proceedings of “The Born Digital and Cultural Heritage conference”, to be published by the Australian Computer Society in the Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology series

Submission of a paper will be regarded as an undertaking that, should the paper be accepted, at least one author will attend the conference to present the work.

The proceedings are included in the ACM digital library and indexed on Scopus and DBLP.


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