Call for Proposals: True Crime in the Archives

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The University of North Texas Special Collections is seeking participants for a virtual event focused on highlighting archival materials related to true crime. The final format of the program will depend on responses received but is expected to consist of participating institutions taking turns highlighting a fonds, collection, or item related to true crime in presentations each around 15 minutes in length. To view a potential direction for the program, please see the October 2020 presentation Gettin’ Spooky with Special Collections. Proposals can involve either manuscript or audiovisual materials, but presentations should utilize the visual possibilities of the webinar format. We have tentatively scheduled the event to take place the week of April 19th, 2021 but this date is subject to change depending on participants’ availability.

Presentation topics do not need to be limited to violent crime. Topics such as (but not limited to): robberies, arson, tax evasion, murder, disappearances, fraud, kidnapping, gambling, and unsolved crimes are welcome. In addition to library and archival professionals, we welcome proposals from filmmakers, journalists, and others who have worked with archival resources related to true crime.

Due to the potential sensitive subject matter covered during this event, please keep in mind the potential impact of your presentation on attendees, victims and victims’ families and friends. Participants are expected to be respectful in their discussion of the crime(s) in question. Our goal is to offer an accessible angle with popular appeal into archival records, not to sensationalize tragic events. Please remember that the events you discuss happened to and affected the lives of real people.

To submit a proposal, please submit a 500-word abstract, along with your contact information at: Proposals are due Friday, February 12, 2021.