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Subject: Conference on photographic collections

Conference on photographic collections

From: Anne Muller <ecpa>
Date: Thursday, March 23, 2000
"Written in light: Photographic collections in a digital age"
SEPIA Conference
An international conference at the
Public Record Office, London
September 12-14, 2000

The Public Record Office will be hosting a conference in September
2000 as part of the project Safeguarding European Photographic
Images for Access (SEPIA) funded under the European Union's
Framework Programme in support of Culture. The conference's aim will
be to bring together those responsible for photographic collections
(such as curators, librarians and conservators) and experts in
photography and digital imaging. The focus will be on issues that
must be considered in increasing Europe-wide access to collections
of photographic materials while ensuring the preservation of those
same materials for future generations.

Image digitisation has had a dramatic impact on the ability of
institutions holding photographic collections to reach out to all
sectors of society, and policy-makers at both national and European
levels are keen to see it employed on a large scale. Many people
have been unaware until now of the wealth of material being
preserved, often at public expense, and of the images of an often
vanished world that are available for them to see and use.
Institutions can now grant unheard-of remote access as an extension
to their on-site reading facilities while reducing the handling and
environmental changes that result in damage to precious and fragile
originals. The apparent simplicity of the process is misleading,
though, and may lead to expensive mistakes and disappointing
results. Projects still need careful preparation, and expertise from
both traditional and digital environments has to be shared.

The conference will look at issues like:

    *   how to reconcile the varying requirements and exploit the
        differing skills of libraries, museums and archives

    *   aims of digitisation

    *   technical requirements, image quality, image enhancement

    *   selection criteria, user requirements

    *   preservation of originals in relation to digitisation

    *   cataloguing, descriptive methods, metadata, long-term
        management of digital images

    *   workflow, costs, organisational issues, training

Speakers will be experts from Europe and the USA. Apart from plenary
papers, there will be small group sessions on topics like:
conservation and preservation measures for large collections of
original photographs; requirements for digital imaging; the ethics
of digital imaging/enhancement/restoration and copyright. A trade
exhibition of suppliers of relevant products will be organised, and
one afternoon will be spent visiting institutions with significant
photographic collections and expertise in their preservation.

For more information, contact

    Tim Padfield
    Public Record Office
    Kew, Richmond TW9 4DU
    tim.padfield [at] pro__gov__uk
    +44 20 8876 3444 ext 2351
    Fax: +44 20 8392 5295

or consult <URL:>

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:48
                  Distributed: Friday, March 24, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-13-48-026
Received on Thursday, 23 March, 2000

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