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The curatorial and technical expertise of Special Collections staff was on full display recently as we hosted a training day for the Catholic Archives Society on the preservation and curation of photographs. Fr John Broadley from the Society writes:

‘On the 19 October some twenty members and guests of the Catholic Archives Society met at the John Rylands Library, Deansgate for a training day on the themes of the conservation and preservation of photographs, and the methods, purposes and advantages of creating digital images of archive material.  At the end of the day all of us were much better informed and much the wiser thanks to the skill and expertise of the people who led the day.  To begin Jim Duff, Team Leader for Conservation, introduced us to the skills of handling and storing the wide range of archival photographic items, from the Daguerreotypes to present day photos.  The golden rules being: cleanliness and common sense.  The next session was led by Stella Halkyard, who gave us the opportunity to study a range of photographic archival images.  Stella also challenged us to study in detail various types of images from different eras in order that we might learn how to ‘read’ a photographic image.

‘After lunch a trio of specialists from the Centre for Heritage Imaging and Collection Care (CHICC) at Manchester – Carol Burrows, Jamie Robinson and Gwen Jones – introduced the purposes and advantages of digitising archival material.  The people who had gathered for the training day came from a variety of backgrounds – diocesan archivists, archivists from religious orders, members of staff from libraries and heritage centres.  All of us agreed that it was an excellent day, well presented, very informative and well worth the early start that many of us had.’

Example of a digitised and conserved glass lantern slide from the Brooke of Mere collection.