First Steps: Caring for Photographs including Digital Preservation in Community Archives

Join us on 4 September for an informative day of talks and a workshop on First Steps: Caring for Photographs including Digital Preservation in Community Archives.

The results of SCA’s community archives survey showed there is a desire for training in basic conservation, cataloguing and digital preservation while creating a network of resources to support people working with community archives. We are creating a number of First Steps training events and on 4 September, we will be focusing on the care of photographs and digital records.

Working with National Galleries of Scotland (NGS), we have organised an enjoyable and informative day starting with best practice regarding the identification, handling and storage of photographs often found in community archives. James Berry, senior conservator at NGS, will illustrate his talk with specifically selected objects from the NGS Photographic Collections currently held at the National Portrait Gallery of Scotland, Queen Street, Edinburgh.

After lunch, you will take a tour of the archive and storage areas at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 2 with NGS archivist Kirstie Meehan who will then give a demonstration, on cataloguing and listing your photographs. This is followed by a presentation and a chance to do some short practical exercises with Sean Rippington, Digital Archives Officer/Copyright Officer, University of St Andrews, who will talk about the threats to the long-term sustainability of digital community archives and identify practical steps that can be taken to counter them. This will include how to recognise what you want to preserve, how to get hold of it, and how to keep it safe and usable in the long term. Find out how to successfully import and save digital images from a CD or USB stick. Learn about the preservation of your community archive website or social media, such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook?

It will be an opportunity to meet the experts, ask questions and debate the needs of community archives. You’ll learn something new, and take away new ideas to try out on your own archive collections.

We welcome participants from across the archives sector and especially those who are volunteers working with community archives who would like the opportunity to meet experts in their field, learn the first steps of caring for photographic and digital archival material and network with likeminded people.

This free event will be held at two venues on the 4 September: the morning session will be at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery from 9:30 and then we will be at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art 2 (formerly Dean Gallery) in the afternoon. Please come to the staff entrance of the Portrait Gallery for 09:30. The event will finish at 15:30.

Please note that you will have to make your own way between venues on the day. There is, approximately, a 25 minute walk between galleries. Local buses 12, 26, and 44 leave from North St David Street, and the tram from York Place, to Atholl Crescent/West End, with Modern 2 then a 10 minute walk away. There is limited parking available at Modern 2, and throughout the New Town and George Street for the Portrait Gallery. Further information on city centre parking can be found here.

To register for this free event, click here.