British photographic history

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Event: A history of advanced heritage imaging: From paper to plate to pixels / Manchester, 18 March 2023

Since its inception, photography has been used by the heritage sector to document and disseminate its historical and cultural assets with the aim of furthering study and enhancing scholarship. With the digital age comes new imaging technologies and methods such as multispectral imaging (MSI), reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) and photogrammetry or 3D imaging .

This lecture will consider these new technologies and their practical uses within the heritage sector and explore how they have been influenced directly from the ideas of early photographic pioneers such as Henry Fox Talbot and Sir John Herschel, to inform the work of exploratory technical researchers Hewlett Packard and NASA. It will draw on specific examples from the archives of the John Rylands Research Institute and Library (JRRIL) and the leading-edge technologies utilised by its Imaging Team.

Tony Richards is Senior Photographer at the John Rylands Research Institute and Library, University of Manchester. He is currently the lead photographer for advanced imaging techniques. The JRRIL Imaging Team are at the forefront of supporting Digital Scholarship through the use of these advanced imaging techniques to inspire and support further research of Special Collections Library material. Tony is also a practitioner of historic photographic processes and is interested in how current digital methods influence his historical practice.

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