Photographic Memory


The photographic heritage program is an ambitious undertaking as it documents Egypt's intangible cultural heritage through photography. The program's primary activity is to digitize the archives of photographers [foreign and Egyptian] from the Nineteenth and early Twentieth-century. The collections of photographers work, gathered from local and international museums and private collectors, will be published as CD-ROMs and books. The program aims to make such rare collections available for researchers, curators, and vintage photograph enthusiasts via multiple means of publication, which includes paper publication and on the internet. Future activities include creating an online photographic heritage searchable database of these photographic collections, which will be accessible to researchers and the general public. The program will also create a Conservation and Preservation Laboratory for original photographs, providing important services to collectors and institutions.


Nineteenth and early twentieth-century photographers produced some of the most memorable and technically refined photographs in the history of photography. At the turn of the century, Egypt and the Near-East as a whole became a destination that attracted a multitude of pioneer photographers. Their works documented such vivid topics as archeological excavations, local architecture, landscapes, as well as aspects of the social life and daily activities of the original dwellers of the region. CultNat took upon itself the task of digitizing the archives of as many foreign and Egyptian photographers as possible. Today, glass plate negatives, sepia toned albumen prints and selenium toned silver prints are being classified in Egypt’s first photographic heritage searchable database. CultNat's first publication project to be produced was the collection of Lehnert and Landrock, a selection of over 1200 black and white thematically assorted images.