Deadline Extended – Call for Submissions: A Special Issue of Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada

Theme: “Disrupting Whiteness Within Special Collections, Bibliography, and Book History”

This special issue is an extension of the keynote panel “Finding Another Country in the Stacks: Decentering Whiteness Within Special Collections, Bibliography, and Book History” for the Bibliographical and Book Studies Canada’s 2022 Conference. This keynote session examined approaches to remediating the lingering effects of systemic racism all while shedding light on the radical inclusivity work occurring across Canada in book history and special collections work. This special issue will deepen the panel’s initial reflections on race, alongside systemic hierarchies associated with educational, professional, and citizenship status.

To further the critical scholarship on book history, bibliography, and special collections (including institutional archives) taking place across North America, this issue will solely feature work by Black, Indigenous, and other Scholars and GLAM[1] Practitioners of Colour in Canada. By opening up to the diversity of viewpoints amongst BIPOC, we are deliberately making space for voices and stories that are less represented in Canadian bibliographical scholarship and related cultural heritage work. We are prioritising these voices that are propelling hopeful resistance against racist and otherwise hegemonic power structures, demanding social justice.

We are looking for critical discussions on:

  • Special collections or archives found in universities, government archives, community centres and other places of gathering, prisons, public libraries, publishing houses and presses, bookstores and other bookselling arenas, galleries, and museums. This list is not exhaustive.
  • Book and otherwise textual objects, which – along with the traditional codex – include book bindings, collections of type, book illustrations, textiles, artists’ files, audiovisual records, notebooks, photographs, ephemera, personal narratives not contained in traditional records, oral histories, performances, and artworks.
  • The ways in which these documents preserve, transmit, and offer commentary on the diverse histories of Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Colour in Canada. These include, but are also not limited to, family and community histories, immigration narratives, stories of incarceration and liberation, as well as histories of books and printing, reading, and other forms of memory work in and of themselves.
  • Critical and reparative frameworks for bibliographic, book historical, and archival research, as well as cultural heritage work.

We welcome submissions by Canadian practitioners writing about territories outside of Canada, as well as those from non-Canadian practitioners writing about Canada.


Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words for a scholarly article or descriptive review. In addition, please provide a short biography of 150 words or less.

Scholarly articles of 5,000 and 9,000 words in length will undergo the usual double-blind peer review process of the journal.

Descriptive reviews of 750-1,000 words on the research value of original contributions in creative and technical formats are welcome. Formats include thematically relevant digital tools, artistic works, and enumerative bibliographies. Following acceptance of the abstract, descriptive reviews are submitted to our journal and are accompanied by a link to the original work(s) submitted to an institutional repository, web-archive, or equivalent. As work submitted in this category may be difficult to anonymize, peer review will be single-blind.


We welcome submissions in either French or English by the extended deadline of November 10th, 2023. Make a submission through Papers/Cahiers’ open journal system (OJS) platform. Successful proposals will be notified by December 8th , 2023. Articles will undergo peer-review process and follow Papers/Cahiers’s submission preparation checklist with successful articles included in our special issue. Publication is projected for Winter/Spring 2026.

A more detailed timeline is as follows:

● November 10th, 2023: Deadline for abstracts
● December 8th, 2023: Notification of acceptance (still subject to peer-review)
● August 2nd, 2024: Deadline for article and creative submissions
● November 1st, 2024: Editorial feedback provided (still subject to peer-review)
● January 31, 2025: Final drafts submitted for peer-review
● January 31, 2026: Publication

Guest editors:

Rachel Harris (Concordia University Library) [] and Philippe Mongeau (University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press) [] are guest editing this special issue. 

As guest editors, we strive to foster a special issue that adheres to best practices for inclusivity and transparency about our workflows throughout the publishing process. Please feel free to get in touch with guest editors for inquiries about our special issue.

About Papers/Cahiers:

Established in 1962, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada is the official publication of the BSC and is available electronically through the Open Journal System at Since 2019, new issues of Papers/Cahiers are also available on the Érudit platform.

**Indigenous Land and Enslaved Peoples Acknowledgement**

Concordia University (Tiohià :ke/Montréal) and the University of Delaware (Lenapehoking/Newark)—the institutions that the guest editors work in—reside on unceded Indigenous territories. The Kanien’kehá:ka nation has long been the custodian of the lands and waters of Tiohià:ke/Montréal, itself a gathering place of diverse Indigenous and other peoples with a history that expands into the present. Meanwhile, Lenapehoking, which includes present-day New Jersey, most of Delaware, and the eastern parts of New York and Pennsylvania, is vital for the web of life for the Lenni Lenape and Nanticoke, who share their ancestry, history and future in the region. Both regions remain diverse with  the custodians of yesterday and today, racialized settlers from far and wide, and the descendants of peoples brought to the United States and Canada from Africa through the trans-Atlantic slave trade and other members of the Global Black diaspora.

Colonisers in both regions have financially benefited from Indigenous territories. They have participated in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, which has had devastating consequences for people of African descent, Indigenous communities, and their shared kin. The University of Delaware, specifically, benefitted from territories in Montana expropriated through the United States Land grant system established in 1743, as well as the many attempts to remove the Nanticoke and Lenni Lenape from their homeland. In Canada, the Indian Act of 1812 furthered federal control of Indigenous territories, including but not limited to Tiohià:ke/Montréal, with the aim of eliminating Indigeneity from Euro-Canadian societies. Additionally, systemic anti-Indigeneity and anti-Blackness serve as the basis for the racial oppression that racialized settlers in North America have endured throughout their histories in these territories, and that continues to disenfranchise them in the present.

We express our appreciation for and respectfully acknowledge ongoing Indigenous stewardship of the ecologies and traditions of these regions, despite centuries of colonial-capitalist plunder. We honour the enslaved peoples of African descent whose bodies and labour were exploited to build the wealth and foundation of Euro-North-American settler projects, as well as their descendants who navigate the present afterlives of slavery. We also recognize and celebrate the strides these communities amongst racialized peoples have taken towards futures predicated on freedom and self-determination. While the harms done to these communities are beyond repair, on behalf of the institutions we are a part of and the Bibliographical Society of Canada, we strive to find actionable steps to build trust and solidarity, and to maintain self-accountability moving forward.

This will be an all-BIPOC issue of the Papers/Cahiers; in gathering diverse perspectives we hope to build on the legacy of the term “BIPOC”’s original expression of solidarity between different racialized communities.

[1] Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums.

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