Launch of Africa Media Online's Heritage Digital Campus

dla_20081031_7509cropped.jpgAbove: Michael Barns cares for the 2-3 million images in the holdings of the Smithsonian Photographic Services which are kept in cold storage in one of the Smithsonian buildings in Washington DC. It was a privilege interacting with him and his Director, Carl Hansen during a trip to the US in October last year. I was able to get an insight into processes for digitisation and digital asset management utilized at the Smithsonian.
Africa Media Online’s 2009 Digital Campus will take on a new focus this year in response to many requests from the heritage sector. This year the week-long digital imaging training will be focused on challenges faced by museums, archives and libraries in digitising objects, images and manuscripts and the challenges faced in planning and executing the process, managing a digital archive and making the material available to a global audience including how to manage use rights.
UK-based digital imaging consultant, Graeme Cookson, will bring his experience of working with the British Museum, British Library and the Royal Horticultural Society to the masterclasses which he says will deal with “the challenges of photographing art works, the limitations of judging colour in art work, differing lighting conditions and aids in reading correct colours.” This will be the fifth year that Graeme will be coming out to South Africa and his classes are consistently sold out, a testimony to his amazing teaching skill (and great sense of humour). We have had a number of delegates who have come back to do the same classes again two years in a row!
Graeme Cookson is a master at communicating digital imaging concepts using practical illustrations from everyday life
Graeme will be joined by a good friend of Africa Media Online, Sarah Saunders, who runs the Electric Lane Digital Consultancy in London. Sarah brings years of experience in working with image libraries and the heritage sector in the UK, and has been extensively involved in cutting edge developments in the metadata field in the heritage sector and publishing industry including the Pic-for-Press initiative in the UK, heritage fields in the International Press and Telecommunications Council (IPTC) schema, which has become the universal metadata schema across all sectors. Sarah works with the IPTC Photometadata Working Group on behalf of the British Association of Picture Libraries and Archives (BAPLA). I was at the first International Metadata Conference in Florence, Italy in 2007 when Sarah presented a paper. This is no mean feat as everyone in the global publishing industry was there including all the software developers and imaging manufacturers (Adobe, Microsoft, Canon, Nikon, Hasselblad, Leica etc.) and the governing bodies of the global publishing industry (IPTC, IFRA)
Sarah will be running the Digitising Cultural Heritage Masterclass which provides an introduction to knowledge areas critical for digitising and image archiving projects in the cultural heritage sector. As Sarah says, “the aim is to help delegates plan and execute an informed and coherent strategy for making their collections accessible and searchable on-line. I aim to help delegates gain the confidence to build a digital resource to industry standards, capable of creating an income stream as well as supporting an organisation’s  core aims.”
Sarah Saunders brings to her sessions a wealth of experience bridging the heritage sector and publishing industry in the UK.
I will also be giving input in an evening session, which is open to all, “Managing a Digital Collection on a Shoestring.” My concern here is to show museums, archives and libraries, which don’t have huge budgets, how to manage a digital collection well and give secure access to a global audience without it costing tens- or hundreds-of-thousands of rands. I’m going to be showing you some practical systems that can help you do this.
Another change in format this year is that we will only be running the masterclass in a single venue. This year it will be in Cape Town from August 17 to 21. Because of the limited space and the need to book venues and flights early, we are going to be closing booking on May 31.

Due to communication difficulties, where our April communication about the Heritage Digital Campus only went to half our database, we have extended the booking deadline to June 19

To secure your place please download and fill in the attached booking form and fax it to: 086 669 7733 or email to The attached booking form is for the whole week. For shorter courses please call Sue Hadcroft on +27-83-445-6042.
Booking Form