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Photographs: Archival Care and Management

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Photographs: Archival Care and Management

Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler & Diane L. Vogt-O'Connor  with Helena Zinkham , Brett Carnell , and Kit A Peterson

An essential tool for custodians of photographs in archives, libraries, historical societies, and similar repositories who manage photographic materials. This authoritative guide provides pragmatic techniques for each aspect of managing collections of images, from appraisal and accessioning through arrangement, description, and research use.

Presented from an archival perspective, the book focuses on systematically working with collections of photographs, regardless of their age, size, condition, or usage levels, and addresses:

  • Archival management of photos,
  • History of photography,
  • Preservation issues and techniques,
  • Interpreting photographs,
  • Legal issues, and
  • Digitizing
  • Using photographs in outreach and educational efforts.

  • Superbly illustrated with nearly 300 images, it also includes an extensive bibliography and information on funding sources and professional organizations that have a special focus on photographs.


    ". . . chock full of essential information, theoretical insights, useful advice, and creative solutions a must for all keepers and users of photographs, as well as anyone interested in the power of the photograph and the archive."

    --JOAN M. SCHWARTZ, Professor, History of Photography, Queens University, Kingston, Canada

    ". . . a superb manual for the preservation of our nations photographic heritage at risk."

    --DEBRA HESS NORRIS, Chair and Professor, Art Conservation Department, University of Delaware

    "It provides precise definitions of terms and processes, while covering guidance in dealing with a wide range of scenarios. Can be used both for instruction and for reference."

    --HOWARD BESSER, Director, NYU Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program

    "The care of photographs is a specialist field that has been in need of such a how-to manual for many years. As well as its stated aim, this is a book that should be brought to the attention of many others working in the cultural heritage fields."

    --W. TROUGHTON, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, Archives, journal of the British Records Association (Oct. 2007)

    "Our increasingly visual society has come to value [photographs] for the information they contain. For that reason alone, this book is a necessary addition to the bookshelf of anyone who cares for historical photograph collections, large or small, in libraries, museums, schools, city halls, historical societies, clubs, and other cultural heritage institutions."

    --ANNE GIBSON-VOSIKAS, The Bostonian Society, The American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2007)

    "This book is not just for people working in the preservation of images. There are chapters of interest in it for everyone connected with photography, whether they are working in archives, libraries or historical societies; indeed anyone who works with images both old and new."

    --CHARLOTTE LIPPMANN, Freelance Picture Researcher, Business Archives: Principles and Practice, journal of the British Archives Council (May 2008)

    Purchase this book at 50% off when you register for SAA's Arranging and Describing Photographs course! View SAA Course Calendar for upcoming offerings.

    Society of American Archivists (2006)
    550 pp., hard cover

    Product Code: BOOKSAA-0481
    ISBN: 1-931666-17-2
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