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Overview Statement

The nature, stability, and long-term care of imaging and information media is an essential part of IPI's preservation research and outreach activities. IPI's Imaging and Information Media work is focused on three primary areas of interest:

  • The stability and preservation of imaging and information media and digital prints
  • Information and technical support for the archival and photographic conservation profession
  • The nature of photographic images and other forms of print media

IPI is involved in significant work on the preservation of digitally printed material. Because images produced by new digital print technologies are entering institutional collections at an increasing rate, IPI has undertaken research to help collections staff better understand and care for these materials. The DP3 Project: the Digital Print Preservation Portal research has been funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The project will provide museums, libraries, archives, and individual scholars with new information regarding the permanence, handling, storage, and display of materials created using modern digital output technologies. Visit the DP3 web site ( for project results, tools to aid in identifying digital prints and understanding their chemical and physical nature, as well as recommendations for storage, display, and handling.

Contact Daniel Burge for additional information about this


IPI actively collects, develops, and disseminates knowledge about the material nature of photographs in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Information is primarily disseminated through Graphics Atlas, a sophisticated web resource that presents a unique, object-based approach to the identification and characterization of prints and photographs ( This resource is designed to provide collection identification and management information to archivists, curators, historians, collectors, conservators, educators, and the general public.

This project builds on the foundation of the Andrew W. Mellon-funded Advanced Residency Program in Photograph Conservation (1999-2009) and uses IPI’s unique institutional setting, research and testing labs, library and research collections, and collected knowledge to strengthen efforts toward creating a lasting resource to document, illustrate, and preserve the legacy of photography.

Contact Al Carver-Kubik for additional information about this project:


IPI has devoted years of scientific research and field work to the understanding and preservation of film and media collections in museums, archives, libraries, and other repositories. Currently this knowledge and experience is being synthesized into a free web-based educational application called This site will provide an authoritative source of information and an easy-to-implement decision-making tool for preserving all types and formats of film materials ( It will highlight the need for defining sustainable approaches to film care and facilitate the otherwise intricate process of implementing best-fit preservation strategies for a wide variety of real-life situations.

IPI believes that will bridge the gap between what is known today about film stability and what can be done to make preservation efforts in the field a reality. The site will provide access to information in a concise format, using visual aids and text written for non-technical readers.

Contact Jean-Louis Bigourdan to discuss your needs:


You can find more information about IPI’s Imaging & Information Media research projects, publications and storage guides, products and services throughout this website. This work is made possible with very generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).


IPI staff members are available for advice on image preservation and storage, for consultations, workshops, talks and seminars in areas of our expertise such as Care and Preservation of Photographs, Identification of Photo Print Processes, and Cold Storage Practices.