At the beginning of November, I was given the opportunity to attend the Association of Historical and Fine Art Photography (AHFAP) Conference 2023 at the Barbican Centre in London. The keynote speech by Catherine Croft from The Twentieth Century Society gave an overview of the history of the development of the Barbican, and its relationship with the photographers who have attempted to capture it – each approaching it from a unique perspective. I found all the talks fascinating, but I wanted to highlight a few in this blog that I felt captured some of the main themes I noticed in the conference this year.
The Cultural Heritage Digitisation Service (CHDS) has managed the Main Library’s Digital Wall since it was installed in late 2019.1 The Wall is made up of two sets of nine 4k screens which are operated by touch screens: users can navigate high resolution images of the library’s cultural heritage collections as well as watch videos that feature specific collection items, projects and pieces of work undertaken by library staff. When the Wall is not in use, it displays massive “Attractor” videos which run across all 18 screens, designed to draw users in.
Last summer, I spent five days photographing the skeleton of William Burke to document recent conservation as a record for future collection care. The remains had been conserved and cleaned for the first time since the 1800s and the skeleton was going on display at the National Museum of Scotland for their 2022 exhibition “A Matter Of Death and Life“. I also photographed the life and death masks of Burke, Hare and Robert Knox (“the man who buys the beef”).
The Association for Historical and Fine Art Photogapher’s (AHFAP) conference is always a highlight of the year and, alongside 2and3D Photography at the Rijksmuseum and Archiving, it has become one of the must-attend events for any cultural heritage imaging professional. This year we were fortunate that AHFAP took place at the National Museum of Scotland here in Edinburgh, meaning for the first time ever the entire Cultural Heritage Digitisation team could attend!
Two of my favourite photographs in the Centre for Research Collections come from The University of Edinburghs copy of William Henry Fox Talbot’s “The Pencil of Nature“. Shelfmark Df.3.85 .The…
The Centre for Research Collections is a remarkable resource for students at Edinburgh University, not only for research purposes, but also for experience working with collections. I am an MSc…