Culture | Museums in cooperation for everyday picture-keeping

By on July 1, 2016
Never before have so many people photographed so much of their daily lives today. But what is left of the own image archive when we log out of Snapchat, closes our Instagram account or switch to a newer phone? In a multi-year project is investing heavily now four cultural heritage institutions to preserve the perishable everyday pictures.

Nordic Museum, Stockholm County Museum, Finnish Museum of Photography and Aalborg City Archives are the initiators of the project “Social Gathering digital photography” which is now in June awarded over 5 million Swedish kronor from the Royal Academy of Letters and the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation. The project is about how museums should collect and save the public social digital photographs, those present on social media.

The personal photograph has changed and museums and archives have not kept up with it. Our databases are not designed to handle images from social media. There is a risk that traces and memories will be lost if we do not create conditions for the collection, says Christer Falk, director of the museum in Stockholm County Museum.
The uniqueness of this project is to focus on the conditions for the collection and not to the digital photography’s identity or role in the use of social media. The four cultural institutions involved in the project will test different methods of collection. The aim is to find methods for museums and archives in the future to collect digital images on social media, and to develop comprehensive recommendations for the collection and transmission. As guarantor of a functioning methods in the project are Department of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University with a supportive party.
We strive to make cultural heritage specify location for all and in this project we want to explore ways to include and involve more people in the creation of our common cultural heritage. In the long term, it is about saving this type of cultural heritage into the future, says Sanne Houby-Nielsen, director, governor, the Nordic Museum Foundation.

The project “Social Gathering digital photography begins in 2017 and continues for 3.5 years. The result of the project, in addition to cultural institutions gain knowledge and recommendations on the collection of social digital photography, is that the new tool will help to develop relations between the general and the department. The project ends with seminars, conferences, anthology and report.

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