SEPIA Workshop on management of photographic collections (SEPIA Workshop 2002)

Venue: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Event Date/Time: Oct 17, 2002 End Date/Time: Oct 23, 2002
Registration Date: Jun 22, 2002
Report as Spam


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 Union.

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 preservation

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

Collection management: photographic collections & 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 appr. 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Course ends Wednesday appr. 4 pm.


Additional Information

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. <>BR> Registration fee The fee for this 5-day course is 500 euros. This includes coffees, teas, lunches and a course pack with reading materials. Participants from institutions that are SEPIA partners or ECPA contributors will pay 450 euros.