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ARLIS 50th Anniversary Conference
University of Glasgow
15-17 July 2019

Conference 2019 is now closed. We look forward to welcoming you to our next Annual Conference in 2020

A Pioneering Past. A Vibrant Future

In 1969 a group of committed art librarians founded the Art Libraries Society UK & Ireland. 50 years later ARLIS continues to advocate and innovate for arts libraries and their users. Celebrate 50 pioneering years, and discover how art libraries continue to innovate, by joining us at the ARLIS UK & Ireland Conference 2019 in the dynamic city of Glasgow.  

Key conference themes include:

  • Critical librarianship and decolonising the curriculum

  • Digital librarianship and engaging with new audiences

  • Information skills training and development

Our Keynote Speakers

Our keynote speakers are all hugely respected individuals in their fields. 

John Scally has, for the past 4 ½ years, held the post of National Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library of Scotland, a major European research library and one of the world’s leading centres for the study of Scotland and the Scots.  He was previously Deputy Head of Rare Books at the Library before becoming Director of University Collections and subsequently Director of Library and University Collections at the University of Edinburgh.  He is a member of the British Library Advisory Council and a Board member of the Scottish Library Information Council (SLIC), Scottish Confederation of University and Research Libraries (SCURL) and Research Libraries UK (RLUK)

Dr Robyne Calvert is a cultural historian with expertise on the history of art, architecture and design in Britain. As Mackintosh Research Fellow at Glasgow School of Art, she is charged with fostering innovative research projects arising from the Mackintosh Building restoration project; and she is currently writing a new history of the building to be published by Yale University Press in 2020. Her PhD thesis ‘Fashioning the Artist: Artistic Dress in Victorian Britain, 1848-1900’ (University of Glasgow 2012), for which she received a Pasold Fund PhD bursary, is also currently being revised and expanded for publication. She is also a visiting lecturer in art history at the University of Glasgow, where she teaches and supervises students on the MLitt programmes in Technical Art History and Dress History; and she sits on the advisory panel of the National Trust for Scotland – The Hill House conservation project.

Dr David Dibosa is is co-author of Post-Critical Museology: Theory and Practice in the Art Museum (2013). David is Reader in Museology at the University of the Arts London (UAL). At UAL, he also leads the MA Curating and Collections at Chelsea College of Arts. He recently completed work as co-investigator for Black Artists and Modernism (BAM), a 3-year research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). As part of that project, he appeared on BBC4's Who Ever Heard Of a Black Artist? Britain's Hidden Art History (July, 2018). He has also appeared as a judge on BBC1's prime-time series, The Big Painting Challenge.

Dr John Scally

Dr John Scally

Dr Robyne Calvert

Dr Robyne Calvert

Dr David Dibosa

Dr David Dibosa, photographed by Gavin Freeborn

Our Sponsors

Conference 2019 is kindly supported by the following sponsors:

Bloomsbury Digital Resources Logo
Cambridge University Press Logo
Casalini Libri Logo
Erasmus Books logo
Pidgeon Digital Logo
University of Glasgow logo

Welcome to Glasgow:

One of Time Out's Top 10 Cities in the World for 2019



City of Art, Design and Culture

With its wealth of cultural attractions and impressive Victorian architecture, Glasgow is firmly established as one of Europe’s most exciting destinations for art and design. Scotland's largest city is home to more than 20 world-class museums and galleries and boast's Europe’s largest civic arts collection with works by Dali, Van Gogh, Degas and Monet. And the Art Nouveau legacy of Glasgow's most famous son, architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, is never far away.

Photograph of University of Glasgow chapel

Our Venue: The University of Glasgow

Our venue for Conference 2019 is the stunning environs of the University of Glasgow, established in 1451 and consistently ranked in the world's top 100 universities. Its Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery boasts one of the best university collections in the world. Its principal building was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and can be seen from much of the city. The sumptuous Bute Hall will provide the backdrop to our Conference Dinner.

View of City Chambers and George Square, Glasgow

Travelling to Glasgow

Glasgow enjoys excellent transport links with the rest of the UK, Europe, the Americas, and elsewhere. And travelling within the city is easy, thanks to its bus and train networks and the world's 3rd oldest underground network

ARLIS at 50!

In 1969 a group of committed art librarians founded the Art Libraries Society UK & Ireland. 50 years later ARLIS continues to advocate and innovate for arts libraries and their users.

Colleagues who have played an instrumental role in ARLIS here reminisce about its history and consider its future

Cambridge University Press have curated a selection of articles from the Art Libraries Journal to celebrate our 50th year (subscription required):

Exhibited Document Flags

Honorary Membership Award 2019

ARLIS UK & Ireland is pleased to announce Penny Dade as the recipient of its Honorary Membership award, the Society’s highest honour. The award recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to art librarianship, or associated fields, in the UK and Ireland or internationally. Penny’s contribution to academic art librarianship, her writings on the history of art and design, and the key positions she has held within ARLIS including Chair of ARLIS Publications Committee, Book Review Editor for ARLIS News-sheet, and compiler of the 40th anniversary publication, have been acknowledged by the award panel.


Penny began her distinguished career in art and design librarianship in 1975 as a Library Assistant with the cataloguing team at Bedfordshire County Council, before taking up the role of Senior Library Assistant at University of London Library from 1978 to 1987, undertaking a variety of roles including cataloguing, reference and information work. In 1987 Penny became team leader at the National Art Library, with responsibility for cataloguing its backlog of foreign language materials. Having developed considerable skills in bibliographic services and gained a Diploma in the History of Art whilst working full-time, Penny became Deputy College/Deputy Campus Librarian at Hertfordshire College of Art and Design between 1987 to 1992. From 1993 to 1996 she was Academic Librarian/Document Supply Librarian at St Albans School of Art and Design, University of Hertfordshire and between 1997 to 1999 was Document Services Manager at the University.  From 1999 to 2008 Penny held the position of Learning Resources Manager at Middlesex University, and continued to work from 2008 to 2015 as a Freelance Indexer of German language magazines for Proquest.


Penny’s contribution to the professional literature of art librarianship over the past three decades has been significant and includes Chair of ARLIS Publications Committee (2005-2010), Reviewer of reference books for Emerald’s Reference Reviews (2009-2018) and Book Review Editor for ARLIS News-sheet (2012-206). Her publications include Alpha to Odyssey: A short history of a St Albans’ cinema; ARLIS at 40: a celebration; Drink talking: 100 years of alcohol advertising; All made up: 100 years of cosmetics advertising, and articles for the Art Libraries Journal. She continues to volunteer at Glasgow School of Art Library, Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, the Scottish Civic Trust Library, Stirling University Archive, Donor Research Group (Kelvingrove Museum) providing help, information and advice to all.


The award will be presented to Penny by the Chair of ARLIS, Jane Bramwell, at the Annual Conference 2019, as part of the Conference Reception to be held at University Library, University of Glasgow, on Monday 15 July 2019.

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