We had our third all-partner meeting on EuropeanaPhotography from March 13 to 15 2013 at the wonderfull location of Divani Palace Acropolis in Athens. In EuropeanaPhotography, an ICT-PSP project, we are digitizing early photographs from the 1839-1939 period. We have several high-profile musea, archives and private photo news archives participating in this effort. The images in question, portraits, landscapes, news events, city scapes, street images, travel memories etc. in various techniques such as glass plate, calotype, daguerreotype etc., are quite frankly amazing.
On March 13th, there was a technical training session on the use of the MINT mapping tool by our sympathetic host Nikos Simou from NTUA. This tool has been a true enabler for several heritage projects – such as Linked Heritage – to contribute metadata from their collections to Europeana.
Taking care of European Photographical heritage has become a shared responsibility between public institutions and private companies. We had some interesting discussions about the photo as an intellectual object, and what this means for its integrity, authenticity and the intellectual and moral rights that are involved.
We hope that from our project, we will not only deliver Europeana visitors with 400.000+ masterpiece images that are a delight for the eye, but also a deep reflection and insights in how IPR management in the digital age can help build trusted sources. Europeana is no Google experience, it is about knowing who owns the image, who takes care of it, who warrants its authenticity.
And of course, each meeting we discover new delights: in Athens Frank Golomb from United-Archives showed me the amazing collections of Carl Simon – see an article about it on Digital Meets Culture, the online journal of our technical coordinator Promoter, and Gerald Piffl of Imagno Brandstätter showed images of the Photoatelier Setzer – Tschiedel. John Balean of TopFoto wrote a nice article on the rise of Press Photography agencies that will appear in a forthcoming issue of Uncommon Culture. Follow more on the EuropeanaPhotography website.
And no, travellers did not always climb the Acropolis to make a valuable photo, but it sure helps.