Curtain Up! The Practice of Archiving Performance

Call for papers.

Abstracts submission deadline: 5pm on 3rd May 2024.

This year the British Records Association (BRA) annual conference will be held in partnership with the Association of Performing Arts Collections (APAC), which is a network for all museums, libraries and archives holding performance arts materials in the UK and Ireland. This is an opportunity to share the work of the performing arts archive world with the wider sector and consider the transferability of particular methods and experiences of performing arts information professionals.

The theme of this year’s conference will be active archiving, with, through, and for practitioners. We aim to explore how archives can be developed in collaboration with the record creators, the practitioners themselves, to create more representative collections of performance for use by practitioners, academics, the general public, and beyond. Mirroring this collaboration is the use of these collections by practitioners to advocate for the archives, create new work, or share the collections with new audiences.

This can cover many areas of work:

  • collaborations with practitioners in creating and cataloguing collections
  • challenges and opportunities of practitioners being involved in the archiving of their work
  • how participatory archiving has been used with the performing arts
  • practitioners engaging with and interpreting performing arts archives to widen audience engagement
  • practitioners creating their own archives

Abstracts of papers (20 minutes) or lightning talks as part of a panel (5 minutes) should be a maximum of 200 words and should be accompanied by a biography of all participants of up to 150 words. These should be submitted as Word files to the BRA Hon Secretary, Amanda Engineer (

Enquiries regarding the call for papers should be addressed to:

The British Records Association is a charity which aims to promote the preservation, understanding, accessibility and study of our recorded heritage for the public benefit. It is open to anyone interested in records and archives whether local historians, academics, professional archivists, or custodians and owners of collections, or simply those who are curious about the record of our past.

APAC is the membership organisation for professionals, specialists, and other individuals working with or interested in performing arts heritage in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Our activity programme for members and non-members aims to inspire the widest possible participation in the enrichment of the UK’s performing arts heritage.

BRA-APAC Conference Organising Committee
Amanda Engineer, BRA Hon Secretary
Robyn Greenwood, Collections Manager, Royal Shakespeare Company
Erin Lee, Head of Archive, National Theatre
Stephanie Nield BRA Communications
Matti Watton, BRA Chair

The event will take place Tuesday 29 October 2024, at The Gallery, 77 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ. More details will be available here closer to the event.


APAC offers events for members and non-members on a wide range of topics related to performing arts heritage. We share our knowledge through event reports and encourage best practice by creating resources. Travel grants are available for members to attend events.