The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, presents

Identification and Conservation of Digital Prints

A Collaborative Workshop in Photograph Conservation
Organized and led by Martin Jürgens
October 29 - November 2, 2012
Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Boston, Massachusetts

Participants will be selected from the pool of applications received by June 1, 2012. Later applications will be considered if space is available. No payment required to apply; registration fee is payable after admission to the workshop.
Registration Fee: $500 AIC Members; $700 non-members.
Enrollment limit: 14

Scholarships are available. Use the “FAIC/NEH Individual Professional Development Scholarship” guidelines and form available at Scholarship application deadlines are Feb. 15 and May 15, 2012. Applicants should apply for scholarships prior to receiving notification of admission decisions.

This workshop is designed for mid-career conservators who specialize in the treatment of photographic materials, works of art on paper, and/or contemporary art as their primary focus. Participants may be selected based on order of training, experience, balance of institutional and private practice conservators, number of registrants from a single organization, ability and willingness to disseminate information from the workshop, receipt of registration, and geography.

To apply for this workshop, please send a resume, statement of interest/qualifications, and full contact information to:

The technology of digital printing has developed at a very rapid pace over the last 25 years, and today an increasing number of graphic documents are being generated digitally, including photographs, fine art prints, contemporary works of art, advertising posters, letters, prints, journals, books, office documents, price labels, and product packaging. This speedy development can make it very difficult to keep up to date with the newest trends. As digital prints constitute a major part of our current and future social and cultural heritage, it will be important to gain an understanding of their structure, materials, and stability. This will necessitate an ability to differentiate between different output technologies.

In this 4½ day workshop, participants will be guided by a number of experts in understanding the complex subjects of the identification, preservation, and restoration of digital prints. A general overview and an understanding of the historical development of digital printing, in both the office environment and the worlds of art and photography, will be supplemented with in-depth examinations of the individual printing processes. Sample collections and works of art from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston will serve as a basis for the workshop. The aim is to provide participants with the knowledge and tools to handle the issues surrounding the acquisition and preservation of digital prints, as well as an understanding of the trends in imaging technology and artists’ use of modern photographic printing techniques.

The workshop will consist of lectures, practicum sessions, discussions, and artists’ presentations. The sessions will include:
- Introduction to the importance of being concerned with the wide variety of digital print processes available today
- Use of digital printing technologies by contemporary artists
- History of computers and digital printing
- Materials, techniques, and chemistry of digital printing
- Identification of digital print processes
- Deterioration of materials found in digital prints: substrates, colourants, coatings
- Methods of testing for stability
- Preservation and conservation of digital prints: exhibition, storage, treatment, disaster recovery, restoration treatment
- Long-term preservation of digital files

The major processes found in archives and art collections since the 1950s covered in this workshop are:
- Exposure to photographic materials
- Inkjet, liquid and solid
- Direct thermal (fax)
- Direct thermal transfer
- Dye diffusion thermal transfer
- Electrophotography (photocopiers and laser printers)
- Dot matrix
- Pen plot

The less common but equally important processes covered in this workshop are:
- Photothermographic transfer (Fuji Pictrography)
- Risography
- ZINK (Zero Ink)
- Thermal autochrome (Fuji Printpix)
- Cycolor
- Scanachrome/Scanamural

The objective of this workshop is to improve care, access, study, and exhibition of digital prints within humanities collections in the U.S.A. Towards this goal, the workshop will enable the participants to return to their institutions or private practice and:
- describe and identify the various digital printing processes used in the past and today, in both the office environment and in art and photography
- understand the materials and techniques used for the different processes
- explain the permanence issues associated with the different processes
- assess and devise storage and exhibition requirements for digital prints
- devise and carry out conservation treatment for damaged digital prints

While print samples will be provided, participants are also encouraged to bring expendable items for the treatment practicum. The necessary range of small tools and solvents will be present; however, participants are encouraged to bring a kit of specialized tools they have found useful.

Travel Information
Directions and other travel information, including recommended hotels, will be sent to all participants prior to the workshop. Information about the Museum of Fine Art Boston can be found at General information about Boston can be found at

This workshop is supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities
and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Additional funding comes from the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artist Works Endowment for Professional Development, which was created by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and donations from members of the American Institute for Conservation and its friends.
Without this support, the registration fee for this workshop would be $3,200.

Contact: Abigail Choudhury
FAIC Development and Education Associate
1556 15th Streeet, NW, Suite 320
Washington, DC 20005

SACI Florence