Beginning in 2014, UR faculty and George Eastman Museum personnel collaborated on a master’s degree in photographic preservation and collections management. The PPCM master’s program, administered through the UR Art and Art History Department, combines academic coursework with practical training in managing photographic collections.
This combination of practical and classroom experience offers extraordinary access to collections material, one of the world’s leading libraries of photographic literature, a state-of-the-art conservation laboratory, and an internationally recognized faculty and staff. “The educational philosophy of George Eastman House [museum] is centered on the notion of the teaching museum, where all of our activities are designed to provide superior advanced professional training to the students among us,” said Bruce Barnes, Ron and Donna Fielding Director, George Eastman Museum. “Our students are ‘embedded’ in the museum and are treated as respected colleagues—as we encourage them to engage with staff, visitors, and visiting researchers and to direct their own learning to support their personal and professional objectives.”
The master’s program adds to the long history of collaboration between the two institutions. Since 1966, George Eastman Museum curators and University faculty have been teaching film courses on both campuses. The University and George Eastman Museum currently offer a master of arts degree in motion picture preservation—the Selznick Graduate Program in Film and Media Preservation—administered through the University of Rochester Department of English. In 2010, the University of Rochester and George Eastman Museum signed a memorandum of understanding to establish broader and deeper research and teaching collaborations. On the research front, a team of researchers from both institutions has received National Science Foundation funding to study preservation techniques for daguerreotypes. Recent advances in this work were presented at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in February of 2014 in Chicago.