Call for Proposals 2022

Digital Preservation of Religious Collections: Conversations and Collaborations 

Mon 27 June (workshops) Weds 29 and Thurs 30 June 2022 (conference) 

Royal Irish Academy, Dublin and online

The Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) is delighted to invite conference paper and workshop proposals for DPASSH 2022, the biennial ‘Digital Preservation for the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities’ conference. This year’s conference will be on the topic of ‘Digital Preservation of Religious Collections: Conversations and Collaborations’. This will combine online workshops on 27 June with a hybrid-format conference on 29 and 30 June where presenters and audiences can attend online or at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin.

DPASSH is a response to the problem of digital preservation within the arts, humanities, social sciences, and cultural heritage domains. It seeks to address the complexities of long-term digital preservation of the full variety of materials, and to encourage a long-term dialogue around the issues created by such preservation. The keynote speakers for this year’s conference are:

Prof. John McCafferty (University College Dublin). 

Professor in the School of History, Professor McCafferty is Director of the Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute, working in a unique partnership with the Irish Franciscans whose transfer of manuscripts and rare books has been one of the most significant donations ever made to an Irish university. In the past decade, he has become involved in efforts to preserve and catalogue Ireland’s rich heritage of church archives, especially those of the Catholic religious orders. He is Chair of the Irish Manuscripts Commission.

Prof. Fallou Ngom (Boston University) 

Fallou Ngom is Professor of Anthropology at Boston University. His research focuses on the adaptations of Islam in Africa and African Ajami literatures (records of African languages written in Arabic script). He has held Fulbright, American Council of Learned Societies, and Guggenheim fellowships. His recent work has been supported by the British Library Endangered Archives Programme, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the US Department of Education. He is the founder of the African Ajami Library at Boston University, an open access digital repository of African Arabic and Ajami texts. His book, Muslims beyond the Arab World: The Odyssey of Ajami and the Muridyya (Oxford University Press, 2016), won the 2017 Herskovits Prize for the best book in African studies.

Dr Niamh Nicghabhann (University of Limerick)

Dr NicGhabhann is a senior lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Limerick. Dr NicGhabhann’s research focuses on the construction of the devotional infrastructure of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Dr NicGhabhann is particularly interested in the role of architecture in the expression of religious and national identity, discourses around religious architecture and history, and the dynamic relationships that exist between religious architecture and its environment.

DRI invites proposals for practical workshops or tutorials on 27 June (online) related to digitisation and digital preservation, which may feature ‘how to’ sessions and hands-on activities related to the wider thematic issues of the conference, and also including but not limited to:

  • Language and terminology of digital preservation;
  • Pathways to digital preservation, such as digital preservation policies;
  • Digitisation of religious paper archives and material heritage;
  • Digital preservation of research relating to religious collections (research data)
  • Reuse of digital resources in research and publications

To propose a workshop or tutorial, please fill in the Form for Workshop Proposals

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers (in person or online) on 29 or 30 June on topics relating to digital preservation of religious collections relating to all types of religion and spirituality, including but not limited to:

  • The importance of preservation and conservation in relation to digitisation;
  • The transition from analogue to digital for religious archives; 
  • Preservation and digital access in small religious libraries; 
  • The research value of digital religious collections; 
  • Open access and the contested histories within the religious digital archive;
  • Preservation of electronic communication, social media and online events
  • The future of digital religious collections (e.g. AI, environmental and sustainability concerns, legislation regarding digital access etc).

To propose a paper for the conference, please fill in the Form for Conference Paper Proposals.

If you have any questions about DPASSH or the proposal process, please contact Dr Deborah Thorpe at

All proposals are due by Mon 4 April 2022.