Photographers' Archives and Legacy Project seminar

Royal Photographic Society, Bath, 6 February 2013

Attendees included photographers, students, academics, photography conservationists, exhibition curators and the family of a deceased photographer.

There were presentations by Jem Southam, photographer and Professor of Photography at Plymouth University and Ian Leith, Acquisitions Officer, English Heritage Archives, Swindon, followed by discussion.

Key points from the discussions

  • How should / does a photographer decide what to do, where to start, how or what to select?
  • Photographers need to be more adroit in looking at their work – think about splitting it up, differentiating art practice and social practice, looking at what you do and where your interests lie
  • What gets lost in translation (from photographer to institution, over time etc)
  • There can be a gathering of significance of an archive; does not necessarily translate into greater monetary value
  • Auction houses can play a useful role in talking about and advising on value
  • What is the distinction between a collection and an archive?
  • The more biographical and contextual material work has, the more useful it will be for an archive
The Getty Archive
Image: The Getty Archive