Designing the Archive Conference 2019

 Join us in Adelaide, South Australia, from 21 to 25 October 2019

designing the archive banner1a rectangle

Registration now open!

Conference Website here

Conference Twitter @DTAAdelaide2019


The conference theme Designing the Archive is about putting people at the centre of what we do. It provides an opportunity to explore how data and information managers, records managers and archivists are using, or can use, human-centred design approaches to ensure we deliver benefits to citizens, customers, stakeholders and communities.

The program aims to explore the use of empathy, creativity, innovation, experimentation, prototyping, and co-design in the development of recordkeeping systems, information governance frameworks, archival programs and services, archive buildings and spaces, or digital archives.

The program also provides an opportunity to explore how we manage records and archives of the design process itself across a range of industries from architecture to fashion, engineering to environmental management.

Designing the Archive is an international archives conference presented by the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA), Archives and Records Association of New Zealand Te Huinga Mahara (ARANZ), the International Council on Archives (ICA) and the Pacific Regional Branch International Council on Archives(PARBICA).

Key dates

January 2019 - call for submissions opens
28 February 2019 - call for submissions closes
1 May 2019 - conference registration opens
19 -20 October - ICA Governance meetings
21 October 2019 - ASA SIGs and AGM
22 - 24 October 2019 - conference program (3 days)
25 October 2019 - ICA summits, ASA workshops and tours

News - April 2019

Registration Information

With a fantastic response to the Call for Papers, the 2019 Conference Committee is finalising the program and keynote speakers. 

Registrations are due to open early May 2019 and you'll want to start planning to travel to Adelaide. To assist you, we've put the registration prices up online as well as the full conference week schedule.

We've endeavoured to keep prices as low as possible for members with the earlybird individual ASA/ICA/ARANZ/PARBICA member delegate rate of AUD$660/ €410 / NZD$690 (incl GST) including the Welcome Reception on Monday 21 October, and a 3-day Conference Program (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 22 - 24 October). Governance meetings, workshops and tours will be held over the weekend 19-20 October, Monday 21 October and Friday 25 October, so we hope you will be able to attend the full week’s activities.

Keep an eye on the 2019 Conference website for more information about the conference. For all Conference queries please contact the Conference Organisers directly.

 News - May 2019

Introducing the Designing the Archive 2019 Keynote Speakers

Designing the Archive 2019 is pleased to announce our keynote speakers for the Conference, 21 – 25 October 2019, Adelaide, South Australia. Bringing their lived experience and academic research, our four keynote speakers will help introduce new perspectives and challenge our traditional ways of thinking of designing the archive.

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Dr Michelle Caswell’s talk will challenge us to consider Appraisal as a Political Strategy: Centering Our Values on the Oppressed. Michelle is an Associate Professor of Archival Studies in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), where she also holds a joint appointment with Asian American studies. Her work in critical archival studies engages how individuals and communities activate archives to forge identities, create robust representations, and produce feelings of belonging.

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Professor Marek Kowalkiewicz is an academic and industry leader with extensive experience in conducting academically sound research, co-innovating with industry and university partners, and delivering innovative products to the market. Currently, as Professor and Chair in Digital Economy, as well as Leader of the Embracing Digital Age research theme, he leads Queensland University of Technology’s research agenda to inform and influence a robust digital economy in Australia. Marek manages a contemporary research portfolio and converts industry driven opportunities into research outcomes of global relevance.

Dr Elizabeth Shepherd is Professor of Archives and Records Management in the Department of Information Studies at University College London (UCL), where she has been involved in the MIRRA project (Memory, Identity, Rights in Records, Access), a two-year UK Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project, exploring information rights and responsibilities in social care records. Her talk, Untangling myself from the file’: human-centred recordkeeping, draws on the findings of the research to explore how care leavers’ experiences might inform human-centred and participatory approaches to recordkeeping ‘with love’.

Thursday 24 October 2019

Camille Callison brings expert knowledge and lived experience to her talk, Honouring Indigenous Voices and Creating Relationships in Archival & Cultural Memory Praxis. Camille describes herself as a member of the Tahltan Nation, the Learning & Organizational Development Librarian at the University of Manitoba and a passionate cultural activist pursuing a PhD (Anthropology) dedicated to the continued survival and activation of Indigenous knowledge, languages and culture. Her experience in this field includes as an Indigenous Partner on the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce on Archives.


For all program details, events, prices and accommodation options, check the Designing the Archive 2019 website.

Read on to find out about:

Host City Adelaide
Things to do in Adelaide, Adelaide: Be Surprised
Venue: Adelaide Oval
Kaurna Land
Colonial History
Centenary of State Records
Cultural Precinct, Explore South Australia
Conference Logo


Host City Adelaide

The host city Adelaide is on the south coast of Australia with direct international flights from Asia, the Middle East, the Pacific and New Zealand.

Things to do in Adelaide


(Image courtesy of South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC), the Government of South Australia,

Adelaide: Be Surprised

Venue Adelaide Oval

(Image: Hiro Ishino)

The conference will be held at Adelaide Oval, on land known as Tarntanya – the red kangaroo place in the Kaurna language.

The Adelaide Oval is situated on the northern side of the Riverbank Precinct between the city centre and North Adelaide. The oval dates back to 1871 and has been extensively redeveloped in recent years. The conference rooms have spectacular views of both the oval, the city and the river.

Kaurna Land

(Image: The Kuri Dance by George French Angas in South Australia Illustrated 1847)

This conference will occur on the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains. Aboriginal people have resided in South Australia for at least 44,000 years.

Colonial History

(Image: Part of William Light's Plan of Adelaide 1837, courtesy Adelaidia)

Adelaide is a designed city, in a designed State – the vision of British social and political reformers wanting to create a utopian settlement with freedom of religion. The province was established in 1836.

Centenary of State Records

(Image: State Records of South Australia, GRS 1061/1)

2019 is the centenary year of State Records South Australia. It was the first government archive, and appointed the first government archivists, in Australia.

Cultural Precinct

Access between the oval and city is via a footbridge over the Torrens River, leading you directly to North Terrace, to both the train station and to the cultural institutions – Art Gallery of South Australia, the South Australian Museum, State Library of South Australia, Centre of Democracy, MOD (Museum of Discovery at UniSA).


There are many accommodation options available in the city or in North Adelaide – a 10 minute walk from the oval.

Explore South Australia

(Video: Australia Moments by Elliot Grafton)

Conference Logo

The conference logo was created through a design process involving Pitjantjatjara artist Audrey Brumbyand graphic designer Matthew Aldous in collaboration with Indigenu Gallery Director Tony Straccia.

The painting represents people connecting and linking, going around communities talking, sharing, spreading stories and messages.