Archives and Emotions

Date / time: 8 April, 12:00 am

Archives and Emotions


Call for Papers, deadline – 8 April 2022

Webinar title: Archives and Emotions
Date: Friday 7 October 2022
Time: 8:00–11:00 (New York, EST); 13:00–16:00 (London, GMT); 14:00–17:00 (Malta, CET)
Venue: Online event

This virtual conference aims to explore the interplay between emotions and archives—traditional, digital, official, and personal/unofficial—from an interdisciplinary point of view. This interplay includes but is not limited to:

  • Emotions as attachments and reactions to documents and to the people who created them.
  • Emotion as the experience of the archive as a space, an environment, and a milieu (including the personal and professional relationships formed there).
  • Emotions as factors affecting which and how records are accumulated, collected, re/arranged, preserved, as well as the shape, description, communication, and the physicality of the archives, also taking into account issues of neutrality and inclusivity, or lack thereof.

With an eye on the bio-cultural aspect of emotions and archives, also:

  • The instruments and materials involved in the preservation, cataloguing, and consultation of archival materials (desks, machines such as cameras, microfilm readers, card catalogues, computers, stands, weights etc.)
  • Sensorial experience of the archives themselves (touch, smell, sound etc.)Uniform/dress of researchers and archivists—evolving trends/implications for broader socio-cultural histories and how people regard the archival experience)The perception of the archivists and researchers in the society/s and the self-perception of archivists today.
  • The relationship between archives, memory, identity, historians, and archivists and their overlapping concerns with records.
  • Conceptualisations of archives as bodies and sentimentalised entities, organisational systems, and hierarchical levels as trees.

Set of practices attached to archival experience and their related emotions:

  • From the archivist side: managing archives, welcoming and guiding researchers, concerns about security and usage;
  • From the researcher side: early contact and preliminary research, funding, travel, sign in, consultation, stolen views of the vaults, taking pictures, reading, taking notes,consulting at home and accessibility issues.
  • Feeling attached to archival experiences: discovering, saving, accumulating, managing, etc.

Please send a 300-word abstract and a short bio by email to Dr Ilaria Scaglia ( and Dr Valeria Vanesio ( by the 8 April 2022. All submissions will be acknowledged and receive a response by the 29 April 2022.

Participants will be asked for a revised abstract to be posted on the conference website and a 10-min recording of their contribution by the 19 September 2022. On the conference day, they will be asked to participate in a live discussion about the other contributions.

For a selection of interested participants, there will be the possibility of contributing to an edited volume to be included in the History of Emotions series (Bloomsbury).

For more information, please visit:

Image details: Historical Documents at the Archivo General de Puerto Rico licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International