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Subject: Workshop on management of photographic collections

Workshop on management of photographic collections

From: Anne Muller <ecpa>
Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2002
SEPIA Workshop on management of photographic collections
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
Oct. 17-23, 2002

Librarians, archivists and curators in charge of photographic
materials need to know about the role of new technology in
collection management. Digital imaging offers unprecedented
opportunities for access to historical materials. But how can it be
combined with established preservation methods in an integrated
strategy, to ensure optimal access today as well as in the future?

Three workshops on management of photographic collections in 2001,
2002 and 2003  will address this issue. The workshops will cover
essentially the same topics and will be organized by the European
Commission on Preservation and Access (ECPA). They are part of the
SEPIA (`Safeguarding European Photographic Images for Access')
project, subsidized by the Culture 2000 programme of the European

The characteristics of various photographic processes and the
different materials encountered in photographic collections will be
reviewed. Specific requirements for their handling and preservation
will be related to the nature and function of different types of
photographic collections. The workshops will explore the different
methods for capturing images (especially for fragile or sensitive
materials), technical requirements in relation to image quality, and
long-term management of digital files. Issues will be approached as
management problems, and due attention will be given to aspects like
needs assessment, setting priorities, planning, budgeting and
outsourcing, and project management.

In the scope of the workshop, participants will acquire knowledge of
technical issues that will enable them to make informed decisions
about the role of digitization in care and management of
photographic collections.

The speakers include leading figures from the field of photographic
conservation, preservation management, and digital imaging,  who
have first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing managers of
photographic collections. They will present outlines of issues and
practical cases, and a substantial part of the workshops will be
spent on discussions and group assignments to develop participants'
skills in finding their own solutions.

Topics and features:

    The nature of photography: history of photography,
    identification of photographic materials and techniques, forms
    of deterioration

    Preservation: preventive measures, environmental issues,
    storage, packaging, handling, effect on life span; duplication:
    analogue or digital; financial and managerial aspects of

    Digital imaging: planning a digitization project, goals,
    selection criteria, technical specifications, scanning, color
    management, image enhancement yes or no? quality control;
    scanning and preservation, management of digital assets:
    long-term access to digital archives, descriptions and metadata

    Collection management: photographic collections and
    institutions, users' requirements, defining preservation
    policies, storing and displaying photographs, digitization as
    one option in collection management

    Case study: participants will work in small groups on a project
    combining digitization and preservation aspects. key words:
    planning, assessment, defining goals and priorities, workplan,
    budgeting, staffing

The course will be in English.

Daily sessions from approximately 9:30 am - 5.30 pm. The course ends
Wednesday approximately 4 pm.

Target group: All those responsible for photographic collections in
archives, museums, libraries. For this introductory course, no
specific expertise of photographic techniques or digital imaging is
required. Participants are expected to have a working knowledge of
English in order to participate in discussions.

Workshop leaders

    Mattie Boom, Curator
    Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

    Franziska Frey
    Associate Professor, School of Printing Management and Sciences,
    College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, Rochester Institute of
    Technology, USA

    Hans de Herder
    Director, National Photographic Conservation Studios, Rotterdam

    Rene van Horik
    Digital imaging specialist, Netherlands Institute for Scientific
    Information Services, Amsterdam

    Rene Kok
    Head of the Photo Department of the Netherlands Institute for
    War Documentation, Amsterdam

    Simon Tanner
    Senior Digitisation Consultant, Higher Education Digitisation
    Service, UK

    Clara von Waldthausen
    Photographic conservator, Amsterdam


    National Photographic Conservation Studios, Rotterdam, the

    European Commission on Preservation and Access, Amsterdam, the

For more information contact the ECPA:

    PO Box 19121
    1000 GC
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    +31 20 5510839
    Fax: +31 20 6204941
    ecpa [at] bureau__knaw__nl

The fee for this 5-day course is EURO500. This includes coffees,
teas, lunches and a course pack with reading materials. Participants
from institutions that are SEPIA partners or ECPA contributors will
pay EURO450.

For online registration: <URL:>

The form should be sent to the ECPA before 22 June 2002. By 12 July
you will be informed whether your application has been accepted. In
view of the character of the workshops which require group work and
active participation, the number of participants is limited. If the
number of applications exceeds the number of available places a
selection will have to be made. Preference will be given to those
applicants who manage a photographic collection. A detailed
programme will be mailed after confirmation.

Accommodation and travel: Participants should make their own hotel
reservations and travel arrangements.

SEPIA: Historical photographic collections are an essential part of
the European cultural heritage both for their artistic as for their
documentary value. Photographs speak a universal language, and as a
record of past times appeal to a large audience. However, many of
them are fragile and the preservation of the wide variety of
photographic materials is a problem for all institutions. Digital
imaging, offering new opportunities for access and care, is now
widely explored for its role in management of photographic

In 1999 the SEPIA (Safeguarding European Photographic Images for
Access) project was set up aimed at the long-term preservation of
all kind of photographic materials, and defining the role of new
technology in collection management. The success of these activities
encouraged the partners to formulate a follow-up program for another
3 years which has been selected for subsidy by the Culture 2000
programme. More partners and associate partners have joined, so that
the group now consists of 17 institutions in 10 countries.

For more information see: <URL:>

Anne Muller
European Commission on Preservation and Access (ECPA)
PO Box 19121
NL-1000 GC

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:77
                  Distributed: Thursday, May 16, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-77-016
Received on Tuesday, 14 May, 2002

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