RIT’s Image Permanence Institute Awarded $606,000 to Study Digital Print Preservation

Grant given by Andrew W. Mellon Foundation




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The Image Permanence Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology has received a $606,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a research and development project to examine the preservation of digital prints.

Because images produced by new digital print technologies are entering the collections of local, state and national institutions at an increasing rate, the Image Permanence Institute’s goal is to help conservators, curators, archivists and librarians understand and better care for them.

The Mellon funds will make possible an in-depth investigation of the stability of digitally printed materials when they are exposed to light, air-borne pollutants, heat and humidity.

“This project is designed to provide the library and archive communities as well as individual scholars with previously unknown and unattainable information regarding the permanence and care of prints created using modern digital output technologies,” says James Reilly, director of RIT’s Image Permanence Institute. “We are confident the project will help institutions make good choices in the care of such materials.”

Project results will be published on a unique Web site, The DP3 Project: Digital Print Preservation Portal. The site will contain information and tools to aid in the identification of digital prints and in understanding their chemical and physical nature; it will offer scientifically sound recommendations for storage, display and handling; and it will guide users in assessing the risk of damage to these materials in the event of flood so that they might revise their institutional disaster response plans.

The Image Permanence Institute (IPI), part of RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, is a university based, non-profit research laboratory devoted to scientific research in the preservation of visual and other forms of recorded information. It’s the world’s largest independent laboratory with this specific scope.

About RIT

Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging technology, and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled support services for students with hearing loss. More than 15,800 full- and part-time students are enrolled in RIT’s 340 career-oriented and professional programs, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

For nearly two decades, U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIT among the nation’s leading comprehensive universities. The Princeton Review features RIT in its 2007 Best 361 Colleges rankings and named the university one of America’s “Most Wired Campuses.” RIT is also featured in Barron’s Best Buys in Education.