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CFP: 35th Biennial Congress of the International Paper Historians (IPH), Investigating American Collections on Paper, Washington DC, September 15–18 2020

The 35th Biennial Congress of the International Paper Historians (IPH) will be held in Washington, DC from September 15–18, 2020. The congress, entitled Investigating American Collections on Paper, is the first in the United States since 1982. It will be co-hosted by the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, and the National Archives and Records Administration.

The congress will focus on paper, whatever its source, used as the primary material for objects in American museums, libraries, archives and private collections. Books, manuscripts, works of art, ephemera, and other documents are acquired by our institutions from many countries and regions of the world, in addition to North and South America. Because of this, we welcome research on any papers, regardless of origin, so long as they may be found in American collections. Whether these papers’ origins are domestic or imported, we ask researchers to consider the American connection.

Presentations are sought for the following main themes:

1. Papermaking in the Americas from pre-colonial times to the present.

2. Studies of papers, regardless of place of making, used by printers, artists, and literary or historical figures, particularly American.

3. The international paper trade, especially commerce between European and Asian papermaking centers and the Western Hemisphere, with a focus on economic trends, paper production, distribution, and marketing.

4. New technologies in paper studies, such as new techniques for recording watermarks and other physical characteristics of paper, or the evolving use of databases for managing and sharing watermark images and information.

5. A limited number of talks on topics outside these subject areas may also be selected.

In addition to talks, the Investigating American Collections on Paper will feature tours of special collections at the hosting institutions, allowing participants to examine manuscripts, maps, music collections, works of art, rare books, and paper sample collections of the National Gallery, Library of Congress, and the National Archives and Records Administration. The local arrangements committee will offer special visits and tours of museums and monuments in the Washington area. Opportunity for discussion and exchange will take place at lunches and receptions for congress participants.

Please find the detailed instructions for submitting proposals at the IPH website by clicking the 'External Link' below, or contact IPH Congress 2020 at

With our best wishes,

The IPH Congress 2020 Planning Committee:
Sylvia R. Albro, Senior Paper Conservator, Library of Congress
Halaina Demba, Digitization Coordinator, National Archives and Records Administration
Marian Dirda, Senior Paper Conservator emerita, National Gallery of Art
Amy Hughes, Paper Conservator, National Gallery of Art
Yasmeen Khan, Head of Paper Conservation Section, Library of Congress
Amy Lubick, Conservation Division Director, National Archives and Records Administration
Yoonjoo Strumfels, Senior Paper Conservator, National Archives and Records Administration

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