In November 2012, the Getty Conservation Institute, with partners, organized the second workshop on the preservation of photographic collections to be offered by the Middle East Photograph Preservation Initiative (MEPPI). Held at New York University Abu Dhabi, the workshop included lectures and hands-on activities to present an overview of the current state of photograph preservation. MEPPI, whose primary aim is to identify and assess significant photographic collections and promote their preservation and visibility in the Middle East, is a key component of the GCI's Preservation of Photographs and Photograph Collections Initiative.
Workshop lecture topics included overviews of photographic processes, best practices for storage and display, emergency preparedness and prioritization for preservation, best practices for digitization, future directions, fund-raising, and methods of raising public awareness.
The workshop was led by five main instructors: Bertrand Lavédrine of the Centre de Recherche sur la Conservation des Collections, Paris; Debra Hess Norris of the University of Delaware; Klaus Pollmeier of the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart; Nora Kennedy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Tram Vo of the GCI.
Workshop participants currently are in an eight-month period of assigned practical work to be carried out at their own institutions using information and skills learned at the workshop. A follow-up meeting, to be held in Istanbul in September 2013, will allow instructors and participants to review progress over the previous months.
Through its activities, MEPPI will stimulate the growth of professionals in the region who understand its photographic heritage and who are committed to advocating and caring for it over the long term. The initiative seeks to learn and share more about photographic heritage in the Middle East and to promote its value to the public and to decision makers.