Call For Papers: Archiving Fashion Conference: Mapping Fashion Collections

November 11, 2023 | 10am-4pm

Katie Murphy Amphitheater |Fashion Institute of Technology – State University of New York

In-person and virtual formats

Following the “Archiving Fashion Workshop” held at The American University in Paris in June 2022, The Fashion Institute of Technology-State University of New York will host an international academic conference, “Archiving Fashion: Mapping Fashion Collections,” on November 11th, 2023, in New York City.

The keynote event will be the launch of FIT’s Fashion Calendar Research Database, part of the digital humanities project, “The Ruth Finley Collection: Digitizing 70 Years of the Fashion Calendar,” funded by a “Hidden Collections” grant from The Council on Library and Information Resources [CLIR], and made possible with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This conference will gather scholars, researchers, archivists, librarians, faculty, students, and professionals for a one-day event (with optional second day of programming for speakers) to discuss the present and future of fashion and textiles, and related material, in archives. Papers considering the impact on access to archives and libraries during the Covid-19 pandemic and the various institutional responses to it, as well as other topics, are welcome.

The first objective of this conference is to map as many archives (public and private), museums, institutions, associations, libraries, collections and repositories that are either dedicated to fashion and textiles, or unrelated collections (that could be non-fashion archives) that contain fashion and textiles related materials, including but not limited to textual, visual, technical, multimedia and material collections.

The second objective of this conference is to identify recently completed, and/or current educational, scientific, artistic, and social projects developed from archival research and/or archive-based projects (exhibitions, books, digital humanities, database development, virtual exhibitions, etc…)​.

Further, the conference aims to stimulate discussion about the challenges of fashion archives restoration, conservation, and exhibition and the exploration of the potential of digital humanities for fashion archives.​

In addition, a fourth objective is to encourage discussion regarding the scope and limits of what we consider being a “fashion archive” and the goal to expand and decolonize the study of fashion and textiles. This conference strongly encourages papers addressing lesser-known “fashion archives,” such as archives of now-forgotten couturiers and couturières, designers, makers, folk artists, archives of labor and workers in the fashion industry, corporate archives, archives of fashion institutions outside of Europe/America, and those about workwear, daily wear, and craft.

A dedicated open-source website indexing global fashion archives that uses mapping technologies will be made available after the conference. The committee welcomes proposals of a variety of presentation formats including panel discussions, short research papers, long-format papers, and short archive introduction/overview presentations.

The committee encourages proposals that address diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice as it relates to fashion archives. We encourage proposals that center global archives and collections and those pertaining to historically under-represented groups, including but are not limited to—persons with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and people of Hispanic or Latino, Black or African-American, Asian, Middle Eastern, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, First Nations, Native American, or Alaskan Native descent.

The committee especially welcomes scholars and individuals who identify as any of the previously mentioned groups to apply, as well those working in non-English language spheres.

Presentation/Paper Formats

  • Short archive presentations, virtual or in-person (presentations that feature interesting pieces or objects from their archive or brief overviews of the archive’s holdings) 5-10 minutes
  • Short papers 10-15 minutes,
  • Long-format papers 20 minutes
  • Digital Humanities and Research Platform presentations 10-15 minutes
  • Panel discussions 15-20 minutes


  • Submission Deadline: February 28th, 2023
    • 250-word abstract or proposal
    • 200-word author bio(s)
    • The names of collections or archives that you would like to submit to the mapping project

PLEASE NOTE: Conference dates for accepted presenters are November 10th and 11th, 2023. Presenters are invited to an optional afternoon schedule on November 10th, 2023 that will include fashion archive visits at FIT and around New York City, followed by a networking event.

The public conference will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2023.

Please send proposals and abstracts to: 


  • Response: March 28th, 2023


Scientific Committee

Hilary Davidson, FIT-SUNY, NY

Justine De Young, FIT-SUNY, NY

Gianluigi Di Giangirolamo, Université Paris I Panthéon Sorbonne, France

Lourdes Font, FIT-SUNY, NY

Steeve Gallizia, INPI, France

Sophie Kurkdjian, American University of Paris, France

Natalie Nudell, FIT-SUNY, NY

Karen Trivette, FIT-SUNY, NY


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