Digital and Archival Approaches to Theater History

deadline for submissions: 
December 7, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Laura Aydelotte, University of Pennsylvania
contact email: 

The University of Pennsylvania’s Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts is calling for papers for the conference on Digital and Archival Approaches to Theater History.  The conference will take place in honor of the first year of the NEH funded Philadelphia Playbills Project on January 17-18, 2019.

The challenge of theater and performance history has always been how to reconstruct and understand ephemeral events of a previous age.  How do scholars, librarians, archivists, and digital humanists take on this challenge in the 21st century?  How do we use and organize the many kinds of materials and ephemera that document past performances, and how do we use new digital approaches to transform the way we can approach the study of theater history? The conference welcomes paper proposals that address these questions.  Possible topics might include (but are not limited to) digital projects related to theater history, current approaches to scholarly research, library or archival work with historic theatrical collections, or the connections between new technologies and old collections.  Topics related to any era or geographic location of theater history research are both welcome and encouraged. 

To submit, please send an abstract of up to 250 words along with your name, affiliation and e-mail to Laura Aydelotte at