Chicago Colloquium Information

We are now a little more than a month away from our second AHRC-funded Community Libraries network colloquium! It will take place in Chicago on May 30 – June 1, 2014 and will center on the theme “Digital Approaches to Library History.” Also,be sure to check out the newly updated conference program. We are delighted that you have agreed to take part in what is shaping up to be a great conference, and we are very much looking forward to welcoming you to our bustling city at a gorgeous time of year!

Before you arrive, please be sure to familiarize yourselves with the information below:

Paper Formats

  • This AHRC-funded research network is intended primarily to facilitate discussion and interdisciplinary exchange. To further these aims, we ask that you prepare less formal contributions of working presentations and papers (rather than fully polished conference-style papers) around which wider discussion can evolve.
  • The program is divided between presentations of well-developed best practice DH sites and new works-in-progress.
  • For presentations of best practice sites, we ask that presenters plan a 45 minute presentation with a 30 minute discussion to follow. We encourage presenters to think about the types of questions/ideas they might like the group to discuss.
  • For presentations of works-in-progress, typical contributions should be around 15-20 minutes in length and aim to stimulate discussion by scoping out research problems or presenting preliminary findings.
  • We would be very happy to pre-circulate a longer or more formal version of your paper to the rest of the participants to facilitate further discussion; please let me know if you wish to take up this option.
  • AV facilities will be available, and Powerpoint slides can be sent to our Social Media Assistant Aaron Brunmeier ahead of the conference by email at


  • As you may already know, one important and collaborative aspect of the Network is our group Zotero account, which we aim to use to compile a comprehensive and eventually open access list of scholarship on library history and print culture in the Atlantic world.
  • For further details, including information on how to take part, please see this blog post. If you have any further queries, Aaron can be reached by email at


  • For those who have requested overnight accommodation, rooms have been booked at Loyola University Chicago’s Baumhart Hall on the Water Tower Campus in the city’s Gold Coast neighborhood for the nights of Friday, May 30 and Saturday, May 31. (Click on the link for more information about the Water Tower campus). If you have any special accommodations needs, please let us know as soon as possible.
  • These two nights will already have been paid for by the project team, but if you’d like to stay for additional nights on a self-funding basis, please contact Judy Sunvold in Loyola Conference Services at Similarly, if the project is not providing accommodation for you, participants will be able to reserve rooms on a first-come-first-serve, self-funding basis from the same email address.
  • The Friday part of the colloquium will be held at the Newberry Library, which is located on 60 W. Walton Street, a 5-10 minute walk around the corner from the accommodations. For maps and further information, see the Newberry’s website.
  • The Saturday part of the colloquium will be held in the Klarchek Information Commons on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus. To get from Baumhart Hall to the Loyola Campus, you will need to take the CTA Red Line from the Chicago and State stop to the Loyola stop. Or, you can take the 147 bus to the Kenmore and Sheridan Stop. There will be folks from the Conference leading people back and forth on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Useful pdf maps of Loyola’s Water Tower and Lake Shore campuses can be found here.
  • Conference participants and attendees are free to explore the city for dinner on their own on Friday evening. On Saturday evening, we will be having dinner together up on the Lake Shore campus at the Waterfront Café.
  • If you have any dietary requirements, please let our assistant Aaron Brunmeier know as soon as possible, and at the latest by Friday, May 16th. He can be reached by email at

Do let one of us know if you have any further questions or queries. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming you to Chicago and hearing about your work!

Next Stop, Chicago

The Chicago conference is only a few months away, but there’s still so much to say about our first conference that took place in Liverpool back in January. We had PhD students, historians, and librarians from Brazil and Mexico to the US and the UK who presented their new ideas and shared in the process of developing a vibrant community of library history scholars. Paper topics ranged from transatlantic book trading networks and the community of readers sustained by these commercial webs to investigations of seditious books and libraries during the Age of Revolutions. For a summary of the Liverpool conference, see Aaron Brunnmeier’s review for the Junto. For a digital walk down memory lane, check out our Storify narrative, which threads together all the great live tweeting done at the conference. Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer to the Chicago colloquium, “Digital Approaches to Library History.”

Liverpool Conference Information

We are very much looking forward to welcoming the network to Liverpool, which hosts our first event on 24-25th January 2014 on the theme ‘Libraries in the Atlantic World’.  The main part of the colloquium will be held at the University of Liverpool’s Foresight Centre, which is located on 1 Brownlow Street, a 5-10 minute walk from Liverpool Lime Street Station. For maps and further information, see; for directions on how to get to Liverpool, there is plenty of information on our university webpages – see On the Friday afternoon, we will be visiting the Liverpool Athenaeum for afternoon tea. Founded in 1797, the Athenaeum is one of the last Georgian subscription libraries still to survive. We will walk down to the Athenaeum together, but for further information see their website The event is free and open to all, so please do come along and join the discussion. For administrative and catering purposes, however, it is essential that you reserve a place – to do so, please email

Newly Added Provisional Programs and Other News

We are pleased to announce that the provisional conference programs for Liverpool and Chicago are now available on the website. Please note that these programs are subject to change in the upcoming weeks, and once we complete the London program, we will be sure to put it up on the website as well.

Bib Soc support logo

Furthermore, we are delighted to announce that Rebecca Bowd (University of Leeds) and Christy Ford (University of Oxford) have been awarded Bibliographical Society Studentships to support their participation in our first network event, ‘Libraries in the Atlantic World’. The Bibliographical Society offers a number of subventions to organizers of conferences so that they can help defray the cost of conference attendance for postgraduate students (

Ready, Set, Zotero!

That’s right, folks, we are launching a group Zotero account, and we want all Network members to join in on the collaborative fun. For those who are not familiar with Zotero, it is a free, open-source note taking software developed by George Mason University’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History & New Media. It allows you to organize, cite, and share your research. Basically, a shared group Zotero account will enable members of the Network to share sources and citations with one another with the goal of compiling a comprehensive list of scholarship on library history and print culture in the Atlantic world. Not only will it be useful to gather information on scholarship on libraries, but also primary sources for library history – something especially useful for future collaborative grant applications.

Much like the task of a library or archive is to categorize what it has in stock, we have already begun the process of creating a taxonomy of different types of sources germane to the historiography (or rather, historiographies) of library history. This helps us make sense of all the various sorts of scholarship available on library history and print culture. We would encourage you to aid us in this taxonomy project by delegating your references to whatever category is most apt.

Another neat feature that Zotero has to offer is its timeline tool. This requires downloading the desktop version of Zotero, which automatically syncs up with your online account (something we highly recommend doing). In the desktop version, you can highlight a folder you want to look at, and then Zotero will visualize the contents of the folder according to the date of publication. This application is very useful for understanding the development of the field over time. You’ll find this feature by going to Tools → Create Timeline, and then let Zotero take care of the rest!

Registration is actually quite quick and easy. Simply go to, click on “Register” in the top left corner, and create your username and password. From there you can search for our group (The Community Libraries Network), or simply follow this link, which will take you to our group page. From there, all you need to do is hit “Join Group,” and you will be shortly confirmed thereafter. Once a group member, we ask you to take a look at what is already in the account and share with the group a minimum of three references. If you are not on Zotero and instead want to email me your citations, I can add them to the account on your behalf. You would still be able to view the group library, but you would not be able to make any contributions or edits to it.

If you are having any issues or would like us to add citations for you, please contact our Social Media Assistant Aaron Brunmeier at