22-24 May, 2019
Croatian State Archives
NEDCC | Northeast Document Conservation Center and the Croatian State Archives presented a three-day professional development symposium on May 22-24, 2019, entitled, Capturing the Past: A Symposium on Photograph Conservation. The goals of the Symposium were to create discussion on how to further the preservation of photographic materials in the region; to help create more professional development opportunities and reach other professionals; and to strengthen the connections between past participants in NEDCC’s training programs. The program was hosted by the Croatian State Archives and made possible by generous support from the Trust for Mutual Understanding and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia.
Attended by 98 professionals, the Symposium participants included conservators, archivists, museum professionals, administrators, and others who care for photographic materials. Attendees came from countries in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond, including Croatia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Northern Macedonia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Spain, Italy, and Turkey.
The Symposium provided a successful and meaningful gathering for those professionals conserving and caring for the region’s photographic heritage. It afforded a much needed professional development opportunity for a wider audience in Central and Eastern Europe, and beyond. For previous participants in NEDCC’s photograph conservation training programs who had not yet met each other, it was a chance to become acquainted and to share experiences. Those who already knew each other were also able to make plans for future events and exchanges that will help them in their work going forward. NEDCC’s 2005 Photograph Conservation Institute participant Nikifor Haralampiev of Bulgaria, said it best: “The connection is still alive!”
NEDCC’s photograph conservation training initiative in the region began in 2004 with week-long workshops held at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia. More than forty conservators and graduate students from eight countries received training at week-long focused workshops held at AFAD each year between 2004 and 2008. Twenty of those participants also received training at three-week-long photograph institutes from 2004 to 2008 at NEDCC in Andover, MA (USA). From 2010-2018, NEDCC has hosted an individual professional for a 2-month, focused hands-on training internship on photograph conservation. The NEDCC program has created a strong network within the region, allowing participants to continue their exchange of skills and expertise on the preservation of photographs. Learn more about the history of the program.
The 2019 Symposium program included short presentations by past participants in NEDCC’s Advanced Photograph Conservation Internship program; papers by professionals who are in charge of caring for photographic collections throughout the region; and a tour of the Croatian State Archives and the Croatian History Museum to view their photograph collections.
Martina Bagatin, NEDCC's 2014 Advanced Intern and Senior Photograph Conservator at the Croatian State Archives helped develop the program and coordinated local arrangements. Hrvoje Gržina, NEDCC's 2011 Advanced Intern and Senior Archivist at the Croatian State Archives, has helped with the organization of the Symposium program.
LINK to Symposium Information on the Croatian State Archives website.
This program was made possible by generous support from:
The Symposium's Day 1 began with opening remarks by Dinko Čutura, Director of the Croatian State Archives, the program's host institution.
The Symposium sessions took place in the Main Reading Room at the Croatian State Archives. Monique Fischer presents a history of the Center's photograph conservation training programs in the region on Day 1.
Day 1 sessions featured presentations by past NEDCC interns on their progress since their training at NEDCC, and their current work with photograph collections. Here Lidija Pajevik speaks on Building the Field of Photograph Conservation: Opportunities and Challenges in the Republic of Macedonia.
Discussions were lively during the Symposium. Here 2018 NEDCC Intern Kristaps Latvis asks a question during one of the sessions.
Day 3 included tours of the Croatian State Archives and the Croatian History Museum for Symposium participants. The group viewed photograph collections at the Croatian History Museum and the Croatian State Archives.
Story by Julie Martin