The third and final workshop on the preservation of photograph collections offered by the Middle East Photograph Preservation Initiative (MEPPI) began in January 2014 at Darat al Funun in Amman, Jordan. MEPPI is a collaboration of the the GCI, the Arab Image Foundation, the University of Delaware, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The workshop in Amman received generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Lectures and hands-on activities presented participants with an overview of the current state of photograph preservation. Topics included 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.
Five primary instructors led the course: 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.
Participants are currently in a ten-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 at the end of this period will allow instructors and participants to review progress and challenges over the previous months.
Through its activities, MEPPI is designed to 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. MEPPI is a key component of the GCI's Preservation of Photographs and Photograph Collections Initiative.