Photograph and Film Preservation  

Workshops planned for 2015

The ETHER Initiative has collaborated with Dr Estelle Liebenberg-Barkhuizen of the Alan Paton Centre to bring to you exciting new workshops on preservation and conservation techniques. The first workshop, which is created and presented by Estelle, is a one-day intensive and insightful course that focuses on the preservation of photographs and film.

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This workshop deals with all the theory, methods and practices you need when dealing with the preservation of photographs and film. You will learn all the reasons why photographs and film deteriorate and fade, and what are the best ways to prevent this. This includes policies, risk and security, storage and the ideal atmosphere, as well as handling techniques and digitisation.

What we cover

  • The history of photographs
  • The physical and chemical make-up of different types of photographs and film
  • How to identify photograph and film deterioration
  • All causes of deterioration, including all environmental, biological and inherent factors
  • How to control and treat deterioration
  • Reformatting photographs
  • Ideal conditions for storage and cleaning, as well as the best storage systems to use
  • Security and disaster preparedness
  • Correct handling, labelling and display methods
  • Preservation planning and policies
  • Short introduction to the digitisation of photographs and film

Practical elements

  • Examples of a range of photograph and film types
  • Various storage materials and methods
  • Optimal storage facilities for photograph, film and paper
  • Group discussions on your own facilities, issues and needs


By the end of the course, participants will have a sound understanding of how to implement best practice in the preservation of photographs and film. They will be able to identify the range of risks and dangers involved and the best ways to manage this using optimal storage systems and materials, and good handling and display methods. They will have a basic understanding of the necessary policies and plans needed to implement suitable preservation strategies.


This course costs R1500 (excl. VAT) per person. This includes a course pack,  handouts, practical materials as well as lunch, tea/coffee and refreshments.

About Estelle

Estelle has been working at the Alan Paton Centre since 2002 and is currently the Senior Conservation Officer. She has over 15 years of curatorial and conservation experience and has extensive training in paper, book and textile conservation. She received her Doctorate in Art History from UNISA in 2003 and attended numerous paper conservation courses at Centro del bel Libro in Switzerland between 2007 and 2013.

Contact us for bookings or more information