Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities (DCDC)

Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities (DCDC) is an annual conference for the archive, library, museum and academic sectors.

Open and inclusive in its ethos, DCDC provides a platform for colleagues to come together in joint conversation, looking beyond their own specialisms to forge new partnerships and enhance the social, cultural and economic impact of our unique collections.

DCDC is run by The National Archives in collaboration with Research Libraries UK (RLUK) and Jisc.

The DCDC22 conference

DCDC22 will showcase how digital innovation is transforming the cultural heritage and academic sectors and their relationship with their audiences. From individual projects to national programmes, for organisations and groups large and small, we look forward to examining the opportunities and challenges that digital technologies and collaboration can offer.

Emerging technologies have brought considerable benefits to cultural heritage organisations, transforming approaches to institutional collections, our ways of working, and the way people discover and engage with collections. As research continues to drive innovation, how can we ensure that our practices remain relevant, open, inclusive, representative and transformative? How can our practices in turn enable new innovations?

Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and virtual and augmented reality are strengthening access to collections and renewing audience engagement across the GLAMA sector. At the same time, these technologies also raise questions around representation and ethics. DCDC22 is an opportunity for colleagues to share knowledge and experience within the GLAMA community. We will explore how to build accessible, inclusive systems and promote greater access and engagement between our institutions, communities and groups.

Championing creativity and talent within the GLAMA sector and exploring digital solutions at scale, DCDC22 is a forum for knowledge-exchange between organisations and individuals at all levels. We will explore how research is reimagining how our collections are formed and preserved, how audiences engage with and contribute to our work, and how we plan for the future.

DCDC22 call for papers

Registration for the 2022 conference is open until 18:00 BST on 8 July 2022. Visit the DCDC website to register.


The DCDC21 conference explored how crisis can act as a catalyst for change within libraries, archives, museums and cultural organisations. It looked at the impact that crisis can have on working practices, collections and audience engagement, and how periods of turbulence can lead to new opportunities for research and collaboration. It also examined how cultural heritage organisations can look beyond times of crisis and foster innovation and collaboration in their institutions and communities.

Videos of the presentations from DCDC21 are available on the DCDC website.