Annual Meeting 2023 (The Netherlands) – Prospects and challenges of museum accessibility, diversity and equity

Prospects and challenges of museum accessibility, diversity and equity

Dates: 30 August – 1 September 2023

Venues: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam – Museum Speelklok, Utrecht – Collectiecentrum Nederland, Amersfoort


Conference Programme

Online streaming:
Wednesday, August 30th (from Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam):

Thursday, August 31st (from Museum Speelklok, Utrecht):

Friday, September 1st (from CollectieCentrum Nederland, Amersfoort):

Call for papers (deadline: 1 March 2023)
Following ICOM’s new museum definition, highlighting that museums, in addition to being “open to the public”, are “accessible and inclusive”, CIMCIM’s 2023 Annual Meeting offers a platform to discuss how museums can facilitate access to their collections, and compare practices across different institutions and countries. Indeed, the idea of accessibility of museum collections has changed over time based on a variety of historical, ethical and cultural factors. What are the policies that make musical-instrument collections accessible to a wider and more diverse public? How can museums showcase their collections to best suit all types of audiences? What are the solutions museums can implement to also make their musical collections accessible to visitors with disabilities? How do museums deal with the objects that cannot be displayed? What are the strategies to make the sound of instruments in museums more accessible to musicians and to the public? How are digital technologies helping to improve access to collections? These are some of the questions that the conference might address from different angles. Therefore, the topics of interest of the conference include but are not limited to:
– Approaches to inclusivity and diversity in museum spaces
– Projects concerned with equity, such as women’s histories, queering collections, and decolonial work
– Accessibility of museum spaces, including storage facilities
– Digitisation projects and digital accessibility of musical instrument collections
– Restoration, playable reconstructions and replicas of musical instruments in museums
– Transfer of collections from private to public spaces
– Provenance research

Contributions are invited in the following formats:
– Papers
– Interactive presentations (posters in digital or paper format, feedback/experience reports, short workshops)
– Panel discussions

Please send abstracts of max 300 words and a brief bio of max 100 words (including your full name, institution, position, e-mail) to the CIMCIM Secretary at by 1 March 2023. Presentations must be given in English. Acceptance of papers will be confirmed by the beginning of April 2023.

The program will start at the Rijksmuseum, the Dutch national museum, which displays over 8,000 artefacts, and a major collection of musical instruments. The Rijksmuseum is also a leading institution in the field of conservation and restoration. One of the conference days will be hosted in the museum’s new storage facility, the CCNL (Collectiecentrum Nederland), a modern 30,000 m2 building which opened in 2021 in Amersfoort (about 40 minutes from Amsterdam).

The third conference day will be hosted by the Museum Speelklok in Utrecht. The Museum Speelklok collects, preserves and restores a large collection of self-playing mechanical instruments from all over the world. Coinciding with the conference, Utrecht will also host its famous international festival of early music. The Festival, which has reached its fortieth edition, is the largest early music festival in the world.

In addition to the conference sessions, the program will include visits to the collections of the organising institutions, concerts, and activities in cooperation with the Museum Geelvinck, the Orgelpark, and the Pianola Museum.

Conference committee
Giovanni Paolo Di Stefano (co-chair, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Marian van Dijk (co-chair, Museum Speelklok, Utrecht, The Netherlands),
Jurn Buisman (Geelvinck Museum, Heerde/Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Sarah Deters (St. Cecilia’s Music Museum & Concert Hall, Edinburgh, UK)
Christina Linsenmeyer (ex-officio, Morris  Steinert Collection of Musical Instruments at Yale, USA),
Emanuele Marconi (Le Musée des instruments à vent, La Couture-Boussey, France)
Marie Martens (The Danish Music Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Claire Mc Ginn (Museum Speelklok, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Pascale Vandervellen (Musée des instruments de musique, Brussels, Belgium).

Conference publication
Proceedings of the conference will be published by CIMCIM, following the conference, in digital format. Further information is forthcoming.

Conference grants will be made available to support travel, or to cover other costs related to attending the conference. A call for travel grant applications is forthcoming.