Activity: Attending or organising conference/seminar/workshop › Conference
An interdisciplinary symposium and study day organised by The National Archives and the V&A Museum is being held over 13-14 September 2023). It consists of an online symposium and a study day. The event seeks to explore the materiality of the institutionalised photographic object.
Photographs are ubiquitous within many collections-holding institutions and as physical objects they engender a multitude of activities, many of which are centred on their status as a visual record with a unique documentary capacity. However, the material pervasiveness of photographic objects in collections obscures significant variations in their status and use in different institutional contexts. For example, at The National Archives in Kew, UK, photographs are primarily collected as visual records illustrating the various activities of the British government. As a consequence of their inclusion in what is primarily a text-based repository system, little critical attention has been paid to their status, or materiality, as photographs. The collection comprises around 8 million items and its subjects range across documentation of infrastructure projects, photographs registered for copyright to early colonial photography. The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, UK, also holds a significant collection of photography, estimated to contain around 400,000 objects.