‘Outside Influences’

13th North American Textile Conservation Conference 

October 2021


Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout the thirteenth biennial North American Textile Conservation Conference (NATCC) will now be virtual. Consequently, the board of directors has decided to extend and expand the existing call for papers.

The virtual conference will still focus on the theme of ‘Outside Influences.’ In addition to paper submissions we also invite proposals for shorter presentations (in lieu of physical posters), and ideas for a tip session.

Subjects to be explored in papers can include but are not limited to:


New/Unforeseen challenges

Conservators, museums, and the world have been forced to react to the COVID-19 pandemic and have often needed to reevaluate those initial reactions. How has this unexpected global challenge or other unforeseen events impacted current conservation work, planning, exhibitions, and future activities and risk assessments?


Inclusion and representation

What practices and/or policies are in place to guarantee/to consider inclusiveness in our field? How are historically under-represented groups getting involved with trained conservators/formal conservation initiatives? What training opportunities are out there to enrich the existing points of view within our field?


Politics, social issues, and economics

From Brexit and government shutdowns to local community involvement, politics can have a big effect on a conservator’s work, both in terms of philosophical views and treatment expectations. How can conservators effectively navigate politically charged situations? How do conservation approaches change in the aftermath of social unrest? How is the economy affecting museum conservation departments and private practices? Has a lack of resources led to unusual treatment solutions or materials?


Geography and climate change

Conservation work can vary greatly from country to country - does a museum’s location influence how objects are conserved? What Western conservation methods have been adapted in places that have their own traditions of object care? And vice versa, what can program-trained conservators learn from traditional custodianship? Many countries now experience seasonal temperature extremes as well as fires, floods or drought. How has this affected disaster planning or the way collections are stored? Have conservators noticed an associated impact on pests registered in museums?



Ethical flexibility

How do we address outside pressures and still try to adhere to accepted guidelines? How are training programs preparing students to deal with the inevitable obstacles and problems they will face?


Stakeholders, creators and risk

Does the nature of an object’s owner (art museum, history museum, commercial archive, private client) affect how it is conserved? What are the difficulties or advantages of dealing with living artists, designers and creators? When museums entertain, how do we contend with damages, event set-up, and food and drink policies? What approaches are taken to minimize the risks and costs of transporting pieces/exhibitions?


Conservators, curators, conservation scientists, art historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, collection managers, designers, preparators and others engaged with these topics are invited to submit proposals for presentations. Collaborations among professionals are encouraged. Projects already presented or published will not be considered. 

Abstracts for papers, short presentations, and tips may be submitted in English or Spanish as a Word document (no PDFs). Abstracts must have a title, be a maximum of 300 words, and accompanied by a short author(s) biography (100 words maximum). Title, abstract and biography should be included as a single document along with author(s) contact information. Contact information should include: name, postal and email addresses, telephone numbers. Abstracts should not include images or other attachments.

Abstracts must be submitted by October 12th, 2020 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Please send a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you do not receive prompt confirmation of abstract submittal.

Abstracts will be peer reviewed by the NATCC board. Authors of selected papers will be notified by November 20,2020. All speakers are required to submit the full publication-ready version of their paper by March 1, 2021. Authors are responsible for obtaining rights and permissions to publish photographs andgraphics.

Traditional presentations will be 20 minutes long. Short presentations will be 10 minutes longs. Tip session segments will be 5 minutes long.

The papers, short presentations, and tips will be published in either English or Spanish, and distributed via electronic download to all registered attendees. Please email any questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and visit our website for updates at

Previous Conference

Embellished textiles...

Mexico City, 2017


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