Preservation and Access Education and Training Grant
Advanced Imaging Skills for Humanities Collections Professionals
|Apply for the grant-sponsored training classes|
This two-year project was funded beginning January 1, 2016.
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded a Preservation and Access Education and Training Grant to Cultural Heritage Imaging (CHI).
This project will provide training in computational photography technologies for professionals and pre-professionals at public or nonprofit humanities collections, and disseminate recent advances to the rapidly growing community of users at a two-day symposium. The project gives priority to training for professionals and pre-professionals at small institutions with staffs of 25 FTE or fewer. The project is a collaboration between CHI and several host institutions, with the assistance of several volunteer technical advisors (see below).
The grant will continue and expand CHI's groundbreaking work in providing training for Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and photogrammetry. These powerful imaging and archiving technologies have enormous potential for the documentation, preservation, and analysis of the humanities materials found in collections of all sizes across the United States.
The training program will consist of seven 4-day training classes hosted by institutions across the country and will be open to public or nonprofit humanities collections professionals and pre-professionals by application. Over 100 humanities professionals will be trained in advanced computational photography imaging methods and software. CHI’s RTI and photogrammetry training and user materials will be updated to incorporate the latest advances, including new research and tools already under development. In addition, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will host a two-day symposium on RTI and computational photography for up to 75 participants.
This is a collaborative project with eight committed host institutions/collaborators and five consultants/technical advisors.
Total grant funding is:
- $159,299.00 in outright funds
- $15,000.00 in federal matching funds
- Overall project budget (including cost share): $281,000
Committed Host Institutions / Collaborators
“CHI’s goals are very well suited to NEH’s preservation and access to cultural heritage collections program. The Art Conservation Department at SUNY Buffalo State will be participating as a host site.”
— Patrick Ravines, Director and Associate Professor
4-Day Photogrammetry Training Class: August 8–11, 2016. Restricted to members of the Association of North American Graduate Programs in the Conservation of Cultural Property (ANAGPIC).
|Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco|
“CHI is a valuable resource for the cultural heritage community. I am delighted that we can support their efforts of getting RTI and photogrammetry into the hands of the professionals who work with, care for, and provide access to these important collections.”
— Sue Grinols, Director of Photo Services and Imaging at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young and Legion of Honor
4-Day RTI Training Class: September 27–30, 2016. This class is full.
|Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)|
“I am pleased to support this effort by CHI and feel honored to host them at LACMA.”
— Mark Gilberg, Director of the Suzanne D. Booth and David G. Booth Conservation Center at LACMA
4-Day RTI Training Class: October 17–20, 2016. You can apply now.
|Yale University’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage|
“We are confident that the level of commitment to education, preservation, and access expressed by CHI has the capacity to set great precedent in the field. IPCH has
enthusiastically agreed to serve as host to one of the training sessions aimed at educating professionals working with public humanities collections.”
— Stefan Simon, Director of the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage at Yale University
4-Day RTI Training Class: April 4-7, 2017. You can apply now.
|Classics Department, University of Texas at Austin|
“As Chair of the Department of Classics, I strongly support this proposal. I look forward to the opportunity to host a training workshop that I think will be of great benefit to the humanities community at The University of Texas at Austin and to a broader range of heritage professionals across Central Texas.”
— Lesley Dean-Jones, Chair, Department of Classics
4-Day Photogrammetry Training Class: May 8-11, 2017. You can apply now.
|Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute (MCI)
“We are happy to provide a training venue here at the Smithsonian Institution. I am pleased to support this effort by CHI and I find that the organization’s mission of training heritage professionals with innovative, portable, and non-destructive techniques is impressive and essential.”
— E. Keats Webb, Digital Imaging Specialist at Smithsonian's MCI
4-Day Photogrammetry Training Class: September 12-15, 2017. You can apply now.
|San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)|
“The training programs offered by CHI result in invaluable new skills which allow for new points of access into seeing and understanding our cultural property. We are honored to host and be a part of a photogrammetry session at SFMOMA.”
— Michelle Barger, Head of Conservation at SFMOMA
4-Day Photogrammetry Training Class: October 17-20, 2017. You can apply now.
Two-Day Symposium at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has committed to hosting a two-day symposium, March 7–8, 2017, with a focus on use cases and recently developed Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) tools and research and related computational photography techniques. Symposium registration is open now.
For anyone working with or considering adopting RTI and related techniques for collections, the symposium will bring together approximately 90 conservators and humanities collections professionals who already employ RTI and other computational photography tools, and for others in the humanities who are exploring their adoption.
Grant Consultant Experts/Technical Advisors
Five consultant/experts have volunteered their time for the grant project.
Szymon Rusinkiewicz Ph.D., Associate Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University
Szymon's research focuses on the digital capture, representation, and visualization of the 3D shape and appearance of real-world objects, including the design of capture devices and data structures for efficient representation. For this project he will serve as a reviewer and advisor for training materials development to add new research and new tools to the training program. He will also be a keynote speaker at the project symposium.
Graeme Earl, Ph.D., Professor of Digital Humanities and Deputy Director of the Web Science Institute at the University of Southampton, UK
CHI and Graeme's team have a long-term record of successful collaboration, particularly with respect to tools and applications of RTI and related technologies. For this project he will be an advisor and reviewer for the incorporation of materials on the new viewing technology, as well as a keynote speaker at the project symposium.
E. Keats Webb, Digital Imaging Specialist at the Museum Conservation Institute of the Smithsonian Institution
Keats has broad expertise in the use of imaging technologies, including RTI and photogrammetry, for museum objects, as well as other forms of 3D data collection and multi-spectral imaging. For this project she will serve as a reviewer and advisor for training materials development and symposium content.
Ashira Loike, Assistant Administrator in the Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ashira has worked on RTI projects at the museum since 2010. In addition to the content development listed below, she will serve as the primary liaison for the symposium for logistics and communications within the museum.
Angela Campbell, Assistant Conservator in the Sherman Fairchild Center for Works on Paper and Photograph Conservation
For this project Ashira and Angela will work with CHI staff and project advisers on the content for the computational photography symposium, helping to develop the agenda, invited speakers list, and panel discussion topics.
Judy Bogart, Senior Technical Writer Consultant
Judy is a senior technical writer and editor who has worked in the software industry for over 30 years, currently with consulting company Expert Support Inc. For this project Judy will be lead writer for user guide updates and new materials developed through the project.
The grant supports four photogrammetry training classes and three RTI trainings at the following host institutions.
Note: The grant-sponsored training is for collections professionals working with public or nonprofit humanities collections in the United States. This includes art, history, archaeology, libraries, and archives. The application process gives priority to professionals at small institutions with staffs of 25 FTE or fewer.
RTI Training Sessions
- deYoung Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
- Yale University’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage
Photogrammetry Training Sessions
- The Buffalo State College Art Conservation Department (restricted to members of ANAGPIC programs)
- The Classics Department at the University of Texas, Austin
- The Museum Conservation Institute of the Smithsonian Institution
- San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Please note: Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.