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Photographic Materials Working Group Triennial Programme 2023-2026

Photographic Materials Working Group Triennial Programme 2023-2026

Proposed themes for investigation

The Photographic Materials Working Group welcomes the following themes during the 2023–2026 Triennium:

  • Diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in the field of photographic materials conservation, across the globe and in respective countries and cultures; specifically strategies for:
    • Widening visibility of photographic collections, conservation challenges and low-cost solutions from traditionally underrepresented global regions.
    • Increasing participation in access to training and professional development opportunities in photographic materials conservation – particularly in developing countries and countries affected by conflict and natural disaster
  • Sustainability within our profession:
    • Developing ideas and strategies around how conservation can align with UN sustainable development goals for 2030 acknowledging recent developments within the sustainable museum field.
    • Evolving conditions for preventive care of photographic collections – adapting standards to different geographic and socio-economic environments.
    • Education in Photographic Materials Conservation: Capturing the state of the art in photographic conservation education across the world and identifying areas for capacity building in the field.
    • The concept and appreciation of Photography
      How do contemporary theories around the concept of photography influence ideas for its conservation? Specifically focusing on the
      diverse production methods, values and interpretations of the photographic object (whether on physical support or digital file) , how do these affect our understanding of the photograph as an archival document or unique artistic expression?
    • Innovation in practical treatments for photography collections and materials.


Interim Meeting 2025

The Photographic Materials Working Group proposes an in person/hybrid Interim meeting to be held in November 2025 in Paris during the annual Paris Photo event in 2025. This event proposes to widen access to photographic conservators and associated professionals.

Collaborative meeting with the ICON Photographic Materials Group

The Photographic Materials Working Group is working toward a collaborative virtual seminar, planned for 2024/25 together with the ICON Photographic Materials Group.

Triennial Conference 2026

The Photographic Materials Working Group will work towards contributing to ICOM-CC 21st Triennial Conference to be held in Oslo in 2026.

ICOM-CC Publications Online Platform Project

The Working Group will continue with gathering information for the Publications Online Platform Project relevant  to the Working Group's past publications, as well as any further work required to place publications generated in this triennium.


The Photographic Materials Working Group will publish a Newsletter, at least once a year summarising relevant events, conferences, talks, and workshops in the field, highlighting areas of interest to the photograph conservation community; and sharing new research, special projects, and updates on focus activities. A key aim of the newsletter in the triennium will be to – where possible - focus on work carried out by colleagues working on photographic collections in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Asian Pacific, and other regions not traditionally represented in the conservation literature. It will further aim to publish articles and stories in languages other than English, to widen participation and access.

Additional Communication

The Photographic Materials Working Group keeps connected and engaged with members, sharing news, events, important announcements, surveys and more through the Working Group email list. The Group has a global reach through its Facebook page, where it announces news, job opportunities and special projects. The Working Group’s home page on the ICOM-CC website will be updated regularly.


Photographic Materials