The Getty is sponsoring an amazing archival project to save our film heritage. As a proponent of film, I am glad someone cares enough to actually try and save this stuff. Every time I go home I spend hours going through my mother’s old family photo’s marveling at the beauty of these little treasures from the early 20th century. So if you have any photos that you can bear to part with or just want to be rid of your analog production remnants, the Getty’s project seems like a good bet.

(P.S. Part two of my post on Women in Photography will cover the 60’s, 70’s & 80’s. So don’t despair that Cindy Sherman will be ignored.)

Help Create an Archive of Photographic Materials from the Pre-Digital Age






Digital photography is replacing traditional photography. And it’s happening so fast that traditional photography, and the knowledge about how to create it, is in danger of disappearing altogether.

conservation image

We need your help.

Scientists at the Getty Conservation Institute need your old photographic papers, film, negatives, and prints to build an archive of knowledge and materials from the era of classical photography. This archive will become a reference collection for future generations of photo conservators and scholars, and will allow them to research and authenticate the treasures of the classical photography era.

Surprisingly, the large photography companies—Kodak, Ilford, Fuji, Polaroid, and Agfa—did not save samples of the hundreds of different films and papers they developed over the last century.

We’re hoping that you did.

Below are some examples of materials to send.

• Photographs—don’t send us your family treasures; send the extra copies and rejects.
• Please only send photographs that have a date and/or manufacturer’s name or logo printed on them.
• Instant photographs from Polaroid, Kodak, or other manufacturers.
• Unexposed film in the original canisters—black-and-white, color, and Polaroid. If you have the original packaging, send that too!
• Unexposed photographic papers—ideally in the original box. If you have an unopened box you can part with, this is especially helpful.
• Exposed photographic papers, including prints, contact sheets, and contact prints if they include a date and manufacturer’s name or logo.
• Film, sheet, or glass-plate negatives, and transparencies.

How to Send
Send materials to the Getty Conservation Institute at the following address:

Project in Conservation of Photographs
Getty Conservation Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive
Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1684

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