CIMCIM Annual Meeting 2021

Global Crises and Music Museums: representing music after the pandemic

5-9 September, London, Royal College of Music / Horniman Museum and Gardens
Post conference trip: 10-11 September, Edinburgh, St. Cecilia’s Hall

The COVID19 pandemic has arguably caused the biggest disruption to the museum and heritage sector since the Second World War. All over the world, museums have had to close, some never to reopen, and many have had to suspend their operations for prolonged periods. However, the disruption has also invited – sometimes forced – substantial changes in the way museums perceive themselves and their interactions with their audiences. This has included an increased focus on digital offers, a reconsideration of the human relationships with external as well as internal stakeholders, new ways to guarantee the preservation, documentation and availability of collections and revised financial and sustainability planning.

Some of these changes will be transitory, while others are likely to leave permanent footprints on the identity of museums and the way they operate even after the emergency has passed.

This conference will highlight and discuss some of the initiatives and innovations that emerged from the past year, with particular attention to curatorship, conservation, learning & participation, and documentation and research. Critical perspectives, as well as case studies are invited to focus on the long-term impact of the pandemic and on the way the identity of music museums, their value and relevance to society and research, and their ways of operating internally and externally may have been transformed.

Download the Call for papers.

Conference format

We intend to offer both on-site and online presentation options, although the former will depend on possible restrictions on public meetings and international travel in force at the time of the event.

Online presentations will be pre-recorded and made available in advance on the conference website. Those presented in person will be live-streamed when possible and video-recorded and remain available on the conference website for a limited period.

CIMCIM will abide by Government regulations issued by the host country regarding gatherings and public events.

Important dates

30 April 2021: Abstract submission deadline
15 May 2021: Online registration portal open
15 May 2021: Notification of submission decision
30 June 2021: End of early registration
1 September 2021: Submission of video-recordings of all presentations
5-9 September: Conference
30 October 2021: Deadline for the submission of articles for the proceedings


Submissions are invited for:
Papers: 20 min
Short presentations: 10 min
Panel discussions: 60 min (the proposal will be presented by the panel Chair, who will convene and coordinate the participants, and summarise the discussion for the proceedings).

Please, submit an abstract of up to 300 words via email to by the 30 April.


Conference grants will be made available either to support travel, or to cover registration fee and other costs related to attending the conference – in person or online.

Please, get in touch with the organisers at as soon as possible after submitting your abstract if you are planning to apply for a conference grant.

Review process

Each submission will be reviewed by the Scientific Committee according to criteria including its pertinence to the conference topic, originality, importance, and potential for impact on the CIMCIM membership. Authors will be notified by email of the Committee’s decision by 15 May 2021.

Conference publication

Proceedings of the conference will be published by CIMCIM within four months of the conference in digital format. Successful authors will be required to submit a version of their paper of max. 3,000 words, in English, French or Spanish, by the 15 October 2021.


Registration costs will be determined based on on-site or online participation. The former will depend on possible restrictions on public meetings and international travel in place at the time of the event.

We are working to ensure that costs will not be a barrier to attending the conference. We will be offering ‘early bird’ registration options (until 30 June) as well as discounts for students and young professionals.

Online registration will open on the 15 May 2021.

The official language of the conference is English. However, papers for the proceedings can be submitted in any of the official languages of ICOM (English, French, Spanish).

The conference committee

Gabriele Rossi Rognoni (co-chair)
Mimi Waitzman (co-chair)
Marie Martens
Arnold Myers
Jen Schnitker