Not many people realize it exists, but there is a hidden gem tucked away on the second floor of Gannett called the Image Permanence Institute (IPI). IPI is a unique department within CIAS devoted to preservation research. It is the world’s largest independent laboratory with this specific scope.

One current project of interest is Graphics Atlas, an online resource that presents an object-based approach to examining and characterizing the materials and technologies of prints and photographs. The site provides a sophisticated framework of interactive imagery and text to guide print observation and identification and to train the user’s eye. Graphics Atlas encompasses traditional printmaking, photomechanical, photographic and digital print processes with object examples from woodcut to inkjet. Visit to start exploring. From there, you can also sign up for our weekly Interesting Picture of the Week email highlighting various pictures from Graphics Atlas. If you’re interested, you can schedule a tour of IPI and a presentation of Graphics Atlas.

IPI is hosting a free ½ day workshop on the Introduction to Graphics Atlas on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 right here at RIT. It is open to everyone (faculty/staff/students) and will stress how an object-based approach to understanding the printed image is essential to carrying on the traditions, knowledge, and care of print media. This workshop is being taught by Alice Carver-Kubik, a Research Scientist at IPI that is currently working on building content for Graphics Atlas. She has a masters degree in photographic preservation and collections management, has co-authored the book, In the Darkroom: and Illustrated Guide to Photographic Processes Before the Digital Age, and has written and lectured on photograph identification, deterioration and care.

More information and registration is available here.

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