SIBMAS International Conference: Glasgow 2008

SIBMAS, the international association of libraries and museums of the performing arts, will this year hold their biennial conference in Glasgow. The conference will take place at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama from Mon 22- Fri 26 Sept.

The conference was first held in Zagreb in 1954 and has visited locations across Europe and beyond in the intervening years. This is only the second time the event has taken place in the UK (the first was London in 1998 ) and it’s great to see Scotland hosting such a high-profile international conference.

This year’s event will focus on the role of library, museum and archive professionals in addressing the challenges of documenting live performance. The key themes of the conference raise some interesting concerns for librarians working with performing arts materials.

In documenting the performing arts, librarians are required to deal with a constantly evolving product rather than static artefacts. This means that they must develop new approaches to recording and preserving performance.

It’s interesting to note that some of the issues covered in the SIBMAS programme have relevance beyond the performing arts sector. As new technologies have made it easier to create and publish multimedia materials, librarians in all sectors are addressing the challenges associated with preserving the intangible aspects of our digital culture.

In recognition of this common ground, one strand of the SIBMAS programme will look at innovative approaches in other disciplines. Libraries in other sectors may also benefit from learning more about initiatives in the performing arts sector.