Promoting photographic collections – exhibition in Rome

May 30, 2017

Promoting photographic collections The ICCROM Archives is participating in two initiatives which demonstrate how photographs can become key players for culture.

On 16 May, a photographic exhibition “Alfabeto Fotografico Romano” was inaugurated at Palazzo Poli (Fontana di Trevi) in Rome. The exhibition, organized by Istituto centrale per il catalogo e la documentazione (ICCD) and Istituto centrale per la grafica, gathers a selection of significant photographs held in the archives of thirty cultural institutions based in Rome.  These institutions include foreign academies as well as ICCROM.

The exhibition is composed of photographs of Rome or collected by institutions in Rome, made by protagonists of the history of photography from its origins to our day.  The exhibition starts with the pioneers who shot and distributed Roman imagery all over Europe, and moves to travelers and explorers, portrait professionals, amateurs and photojournalists, and some contemporary authors. Photographs span from daguerreotypes dating to 1846 up to the early 2000s, and document twenty-one topics following the letters of the alphabet.

The ICCROM Archives contributed 10 photographs to this event, depicting historical sites in Sigiriya (Sri Lanka), Jerusalem, Bamiyan (Afghanistan), as well as heritage from Yemen and Peru. ICCROM’s images are located under: “B – Bellezza” (Beauty: Sri Lanka); “D – Danni” (Damage: Jerusalem); “H – Habitat” (Yemen); “O – Oltremare” (Overseas: Peru, Afghanistan); and “Q – Quotidianeità” (Daily life: Yemen). The exhibition catalogue includes the majority of the exhibited photos (around 300) and descriptive captions.

Promoting photographic collectionsThe “Alfabeto Fotografico Romano” exhibit is open to the public until 2 July 2017.

On 20 May a census of photographic collections and archives in Italy was made available on-line: The census is coordinated by the Istituto centrale per il catalogo e la documentazione (ICCD), in collaboration with Camera – Centro italiano per la fotografia and with the support of Direzione generale per l’arte e l’architettura contemporanee e periferie urbane. The aim of this participartory project is to identify institutions that host significant photograph collections, with information on the typology, consistency and characteristics of these materials.

The systematic knowledge of this important cultural heritage sector becomes the cornerstone on which to set policies for its protection and enhancement. This dedicated web portal permits a unique access point for sharing, consulting and studying photographic collections.  The goal is also to enhance the visibility of individual archives, especially those with limited resources. The census is organized in three descriptive areas: entities, archives and photographic fonds.

ICCROM has joined this initiative and is represented in the census through descriptions of the institution and its Archives, specifically its photographic collection.


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