Fundamentals of the Conservation of Photographs

Designed to advance the field of photograph preservation in central, southern, and eastern Europe and to create a regional network of professionals, Fundamentals of the Conservation of Photographs, was a three-year course (2008–2011) comprised of annual summer schools and distance mentoring activities organized by the GCI in partnership with the Academy of Fine Arts and Design (AFAD) in Bratislava and the Slovak National Library (SNL) in Martin. Participants were mid-career conservators or cultural heritage specialists drawn from museums, libraries, and archives in the region.

The three-module course provided participants with the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to care for the range of photographic materials found in the region's collections.

Each module—which corresponded to a year of the course—combined traditional classroom instruction with assignments carried out in the participants' workplaces in the months after the summer schools. This educational model was designed to extend the learning process beyond the classroom, to develop professional capacity over time, and to encourage the formation of a network of professionals.

Instructors and mentors in the course were leaders in the field and used a team teaching approach to model collaboration and inspire cooperative problem-solving. The same core group of participants attended all three summer schools and took part in the subsequent practical work, focusing on their own collections while being mentored by instructors. This process enabled participants to establish a close professional network whose members have since collaborated together on projects and grant proposals.

A course website served as both a tool for the distance mentoring phase of the course and as a central repository for all of the teaching materials developed or compiled for the course.

Page updated: December 2015