Behind the scenes Collections Series

ICP placements with the Imaging team – Part 4 – Reflection

Rylands ICP placement students, Kai and Yunshuang, spent twenty days with the Imaging team between November 2021 and May 2022, working on a specialist digitisation project to digitise batches of 35mm slides and pamphlets from the uncatalogued Li Yuan-chia (LYC) Collection. They were trained by Senior Photographer, Jamie Robinson, in cultural heritage digitisation.  (Above photo: Kai and Yunshuang in the photography studio. Photo by Jamie Robinson.)

In a series of posts so far, we have introduced this exciting project and Kai and Yunshuang have taken us behind the scenes and talked about some of the LYC images they have digitised. In this final post, they reflect on their role in this important project to open-up the collection. 

“For our final session we altered our working practice slightly and used our time in the studio to shoot and edit simultaneously. The slides we worked with were a little larger and we were required to shoot them without the use of our usual placeholder. Thanks to the experience of Jamie, we were able to set up a simple shooting platform with the tools at our disposal. However, as the position of the slides needed to be moved each time, the focus needed to be calibrated again for each image, which added some work to our day. 

But as we prepared to leave the studio, it suddenly felt like everything had ended too quickly and it was time to say goodbye. 

Our placement has given us the opportunity to contribute to an amazing project, and the experience is one that we both look forward to taking with us as we continue through our careers in the cultural sector.  

We are grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with such beautiful works of art and we appreciate the importance of the work that the John Rylands Library does to digitally preserve them. 

We have learned so much about photography, Li-Yuan Chia and the work that the Library does in relation to the sector-at-large. We have particularly enjoyed getting to know a little more about LYC himself. We feel that we have played an important role in bringing his art to new audiences as well as ensuring their long-term survival.

We would also like to thank the staff at the John Rylands Library for welcoming us into their team and being patient and helpful supervisors. We would like to give a special thank you to Jamie, without whom we would not have learned as much about the culture sector and digital preservation as we have.” 

The Imaging team would like to thank Kai and Yunshuang for their enthusiasm and dedication during the placement – their digitisation work has provided an invaluable resource to the ongoing project.

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