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Grant number: PG-52536-15

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University of California, Riverside (Riverside, CA 92521-0001)
Jonathan W. Green (Project Director: May 2014 to March 2016)
Tyler Stallings (Project Director: March 2016 to present)

Preservation Assistance at the California Museum of Photography

Hiring a consultant to undertake a preservation assessment and purchase of preservation supplies for a significant collection of cameras, dating from the 1840s to the present, held by the California Museum of Photography.  In addition to the museum’s strengths in stereoscopic cameras and images, highlights include historic cameras, such as one used to make daguerreotypes, the first type of photographic images (1839-50s), an encyclopedic collection of cameras by German manufacturer Zeiss (ca. 1902-73), as well as of cameras documenting the shift to digital photography, such as the Kodak DCS (1991), Kodak’s first digital camera, and the Nokia 3600 smartphone, one of the first “camera phones.”  The collections are used extensively in teaching, research, and exhibition, especially for tracing advances in the history of science and technology.

The California Museum of Photography’s (CMP) collection of approximately 10,000 cameras and photographic devices is the largest camera collection in the Western United States. Cameras are important to the humanities because they inform the study of photography, and the history of culture, technology and communication media. Cameras provide important insights into a photographer’s practice, technical limitations and imagistic possibilities. A grant from the NEH will enable the CMP to hire consultant John Griswold, an objects conservator based in Los Angeles. Mr. Griswold will survey the camera collection and camera storage and display conditions. From this survey, CMP will obtain recommendations regarding the supplies, furniture, and staffing needs for the collection in order to improve conservation treatment, maintenance, monitoring, and preventive care. A free workshop will be conducted to share findings, inviting CMP staff and the community.

Project fields:
Arts, Other

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2015 – 6/30/2016