The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

US Student Paper Competition

2013 Warren E. Roberts Graduate Student Paper Competition

In memory of folklife scholar Warren E. Roberts, a longtime PAS: APAL
member and former member of the Board of Directors, this annual competitive
award recognizes excellence in original graduate student fieldwork,
documentary research, and writing in the area of traditional North American
material culture.

Born in 1924, Warren E. Roberts received, in 1953, the first Ph.D. in
folklore awarded in the United States. At first a literary folklorist, Dr.
Roberts’ interests turned to material culture after spending one year in
Norway under a Fulbright fellowship and an additional two months under a
Guggenheim fellowship. The remainder of his long career was spent
researching and writing about traditional material culture, most notably
tree stump tombstones and log buildings. Warren E. Roberts died on February
1st, 1999.

Students who are unfamiliar with Warren E. Roberts or his contributions to
the field of material culture studies or uncertain whether their paper
meets the eligibility requirements are strongly urged to read his important
article, “Folklife and Traditional Material Culture: A Credo,” first
published in Material Culture 17 (1985): 89-95 and reprinted in Viewpoints
on Folklife: Looking at the Overlooked (1988): 15-19.

Award Criteria

Eligibility: Students in any field who are working toward a graduate degree
in an accredited program, or who have graduated from such a program within
one academic year of the submission deadline, are eligible for the Warren
E. Roberts Graduate Student Paper Competition.

Submissions and requirements: All research must be original, based on
fieldwork, and accompanied by a brief paragraph as to how the submission
reflects the sentiment expressed in “Folklife and Material Culture: A
Credo.” If you are uncertain whether your paper meets these requirements,
please consult with the committee chair (see below). An electronic
submission in Microsoft Word or four copies of the paper must be sent to
the committee chair. Submissions must be double-spaced and should be 20-25
pages in length. The winning paper must be presented at the annual meeting
of PAS: APAL in the year in which the Award is sought*.*
Selection: The Award Review Committee will choose one award winner.
However, the Committee does reserve the right to withhold the Award for any
given year if no papers are considered to be meritable.

Deadline: The deadline for submission is Saturday, June 29, 2013. That is,
electronic submissions must be received no later than June 29th, and
must be postmarked no later than June 29th.

Award: The winner of the Warren E. Roberts Award will receive a certificate
of recognition, a cash prize of $200.00, one free conference registration,
one banquet ticket, and a one-year student membership to the Society.

Award Presentation: Awards will be announced and presented at the 2013 PAS:
APAL Annual Conference which will be held on October 9 – 12, 2013 in the
Mohawk Valley of New York.

Award Review Committee: The Committee is comprised of the previous
recipient of the Award and three PAS members appointed by the Executive

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Interesting One-Day conference in America on Paper Ephemera

Presented by the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts
Providence, RI - May 2nd, 2013

Cosponsored & hosted by:
Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design

This symposium will examine the myriad of challenges faced in preserving a wide variety of non-standard paper items produced in the 19th and 20th centuries, including paper dolls, greeting cards, posters, maps, blueprints, baseball cards, miniature books, scrapbooks, and oversize objects such as posters, maps, and blueprints .  The size, the use of mixed media, and the often-transient nature of these objects add to the complexity of their preservation needs.  This symposium will address the need to retain basic preservation guidelines while creatively developing effective storage and handling solutions for a variety of items.
The program is intended for curators, librarians, archivists, collection managers, and others involved in the care of collections that include paper-based objects large and small.

Location:       Museum of Art Rhode Island School of Design
                224 Benefit Street
                Providence, RI 02903
When:           Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
                9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

$95     CCAHA members
$110    Non-members

Additional program information and registration are available at:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Initial CfP for ICOM 2013

2013: Call for Papers

Call for Papers for the next ICOM's International Committee on Management meeting. Theme: Museums and Human Rights. 13-15 August 2013. It would be part of the 23rd ICOM General Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

New Book

We are delighted to announce the publication of a new 280,000-word overview
of the world archaeological collections of the Pitt Rivers Museum,
University of Oxford. Details are below. D. Hicks and A. Stevenson (eds)
2013. *World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum: a
characterization.* Oxford:

The book is published simultaneously in hard copy, and online in open
access form -

The volume is the product of a collections-based research project -
Characterizing the World Archaeology Collections of the Pitt Rivers Museum
- that sought to develop the first overview of the range and research
potential of the Museum's world archaeology collections.

*World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum: a
characterization*introduces the range, history and significance of the
collections of the Pitt Rivers Museum, and sets out priorities for future
research into the collection. Through 29 newly-commissioned essays written
by a specialist team, the volume explores more than 136,000 artefacts from
145 countries, from the Stone Age to the modern period, and from England to
Easter Island.

Pioneering a new approach in museum studies - which the project calls
"characterization" - this landmark volume is an essential reference work
for archaeologists around the world, and a unique introduction to the
archaeological collections of one of the world’s most famous museums

Physical copies of the book can be ordered from Archaeopress here -

Saturday, February 16, 2013

One more: Study Day at BM in March

Encountering the sacred in museumsFriday 15 March, 10.30-17.00

What role do museums play in visitors’ religious and spiritual lives? Join us for a unique day of discussions on the varied ways visitors practise their faith and encounter the sacred in museums. Featuring speakers from a mix of museum and academic backgrounds, this event will explore the visitor experience at venues including the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall, the Creation Museum in Kentucky and the recent ‘spiritual journeys’ exhibitions at the British Museum.

Confirmed speakers include Karen Armstrong, British Museum Trustee; Rickie Burman, The National Gallery; Qaisra Khan, Project Curator at The British Museum; and Dr John Troyer, Deputy Director of the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath

Book online at:

Event details:
£35, Members/concessions £28
The Stevenson Lecture Theatre, the British Museum, London
Morning and afternoon refreshments will be provided
The Museum will remain open until 20.30

Upcoming Conference at V&A on Childhood

A conference on childhood that welcomes papers on material culture of

The Child in the World will be a one day conference on 9 November 2013 held
at the V&A Museum of Childhood in London. Dr Karen Wells will be the
keynote speaker.

The deadline for paper submissions has been extended to *13 March 2013*.

• How have children’s lives been shaped by global processes and events,
both past and present?
• How do children understand their place within the world and how has this
sense of place changed or remained the same?
• How have children’s lives been shaped by experiences of global travel, of
migration and displacement?

We invite contributions exploring these questions, particularly in relation
to children’s everyday experiences of the global. We welcome papers which
trace children’s voices and experiences via a range of methodologies and
source materials, both tangible and intangible, such as the objects they
use and own, the books and other materials they read, the programmes and
films they watch, the technological equipment they have access to, the
clothes they wear, the games they play, and the testimonials they
themselves provide.

We encourage contributions from colleagues throughout the arts and social
sciences, including in particular those working within the fields of
childhood studies, geography, museum studies, children’s literature and
culture. In addition to abstracts for 20-minute papers, we also welcome the
submission of panels and of formats other than standard papers (such as
lightning talks, posters or discussions).

Please send submissions by 13 March 2013 to

We plan to bring together written versions of the presentations to form the
basis of a special issue in a relevant journal.
This conference forms part of an ongoing, AHRC-funded collaborative project
between QMUL and the Museum of Childhood. For more information about the
project, please go to:

Publication opportunity for education people

Are you currently researching or evaluating any aspect of museum education or interpretation in any discipline area? Do you know someone who is?

If so, MUSEUM EDUCATION MONITOR (MEM), the monthly e-newsletter, would like to list this work in our upcoming February "Free-for-All" 2013 issue. We welcome listings by museum workers, consultants, faculty, and students at all levels of study to do with any aspect of museum education/ interpretation in any discipline area (art, science, history, human rights, etc.).

To assist these research efforts, MEM continues to offer a FREE introductory one-year subscription to any student in a museum education-related course or program. One year complimentary subscriptions are also available to currently unwaged museum educators. Visit for details.

To share research or evaluation with others around the world, please send an e-mail to that includes:
- name of project
- question(s) [no more than 50 words, please]
- how the data will be presented
- principal researcher(s)/ evaluator(s)
- site(s) where research is being conducted
- time span
- contact information
- key words/labels to describe the project [no more than 4 or 5, please]
- photo associated with you or the project [optional]

All listings are free of charge and displayed in their language of origin. Deadline for the February MEM is Friday, February 22.

Please get in touch for more information about this call or to discuss your research. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

MEG and AGM Conference, Brighton

Brave New Worlds - Transforming Museum Ethnography through Technology
MEG Annual Conference and AGM, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
in partnership with the University of Brighton
15 – 16 April 2013
Museums exist in a digital era where communication is instant and global. How are new technologies being harnessed to develop and disseminate knowledge about ethnographic museum collections? To what extent does technology facilitate ‘global’ dialogues? To what extent does it limit them? Is the growth of new technologies enabling wider ownership of knowledge or creating new knowledge elites? What impact is social media having upon how collections knowledge can be generated and shared? Is technology creating new cultural objects and, if so, how can these be collected or recorded?
Speakers include representatives from the BritishMuseum, the HornimanMuseum, the Tropenmuseum, the Museum of Archaeologyand Anthropology, University of Cambridge and the PittRivers Museum,University of Oxford. The conference programme is available here:
A conference dinner will be held on Monday 15 April at The Chilli Pickle, 17 Jubilee Street, Brighton.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Conference - 'Object Matters'

Conference Announcement

Dear friends and colleagues,

We are now taking bookings for the conference 'Object Matters: Making 1916 - the material and visual culture of the Easter Rising.' This will be held April 26 & 27th at the Wood Quay Venue, Dublin 8. The conference is convened by Lisa Godson (National College of Art and Design/GradCAM and Joanna Brück (University College Dublin).

Topics include: archaeological perspectives on the final hours of the Rising; uniforming the rebels; typographic ghosts of 1916;  newsreels of 1916; the architecture of reconstruction; 1916 exhibitions at the National Museum of Ireland (1932-1991);Celtic Revival dress; prison art and the construction of social identity.

Speakers include Nicholas Allen (University of Georgia) on ‘Lost city of the archipelago: Dublin at the end of empire’, Pat Cooke (University College Dublin) on ‘Aetheriality and materiality: material culture and the myth of 1916′ and Mary E. Daly (University College Dublin) – ’1916 as the national commemoration?  The paradox’; Bill McCormack on ‘Materiality and forgery: the castle document’ and Kevin Rockett (Trinity College Dublin) on ‘Changing representations of Ireland’s past in films made during the 1910s’

Details on rationale, booking, location, and the full list of speakers
and titles can be found at our wordpress site

€40 waged/€20 unwaged

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Conference Questions - To Digitise or not?

International Conference “To Digitise or not to Digitise: Copyright, Public Domain, Orphan Works and Other Issues"


6th to 7th June 2013
Tartu, Estonia

Contact person: Elena Sipria-Mironov

The conference explores the ways how libraries could confidently make decisions about materials to be digitised, based on legislation, and thus meet the users’ needs in maximum. An open eBooks on Demand (EOD) network meeting will also be held.

Organized by: EOD Network, University of Tartu Library

Check the event website for more details.