Week 7. Photography & Industry

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Commercializing the Photographic Image

London site visit to Getty Images

Sarah McDonald, Archivist, Hulton-Getty Picture Library and Archive

21-31 Woodfield Road, London W9 2 BA Getty telephone: 02075795700, dial '0' for reception Westbourne Park tube station, Hammersmith line

Sarah will provide a 'behind the scenes' tour of the archive and explain how the archive functions within the wider context of Getty Images, one of the largest picture libraries in the world. She will also show how images are conserved, stored and retrieved and will make available some of the more historic material from the collection. The focus for the course is how historic images can be commercialized and their value extracted within a commercial picture library.

Some of the questions you might want to think about are: Is there a relationship between the historic worth and the commercial worth of an images? What are the costs of maintaining such an archive? Can commercial bodies be effective keepers of archival material compared to, say, a museum or non-commercial archive? What effect does the need to make a profit have on such an archive? Are there compromises that are made in a commercial archive that might not be made in a public archive?

Required Reading

Estelle Blaschke forthcoming in Études Photographiques

Hulton Getty Archive web page

Overview of the history of the Hulton Getty Archive and a summary of some of its content

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