Photographic Archival Recordings

The purpose of the photographic archival record is to produce a permanent evidentiary testament of heritage places in their current condition. The record normally precedes demolition or substantial modification.

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Professional Associations

What is this report for?

When buildings are to be demolished or extensively altered, the consent authority may request that a Photographic Archival Recording (PAR) be prepared in order to provide a long term record of the existing building in its current form i.e. prior to the modifications intended

What is in this report?

In the PAR there is a brief history obtained from secondary sources relating to the history and use of the subject building and the evolution of development in the area, including early subdivision maps. Please note this is not an exhaustive investigation of the history – it is simply a paraphrased version of information directly relating to key dates and descriptions of historical events and changes comprised within the study area. Based on survey plans and measured drawings of the existing building, photographs are taken in RAW and TIFF formats on a digital camera from which photographs are printed on 100- fast photographic paper printed under laboratory conditions. These photographs are capable of lasting 100 years prior to disintegration. Each photograph is plotted on the survey or the measured plan drawings in terms of its position and direction. Each photograph is numbered, and its number is referenced on the survey and the plans. Please note that elevation drawings are not required for this report – only plan and survey drawings. An inventory of all photographs referenced to the survey and the plans is provided. A selected A6 size (postcard) photographs are provided in the report. These photographs are printed on the special paper as discussed above. A CD version of the RAW and TIFF photographs is also provided. All of this is bound into an A4 folders. Two copies are provided to the client for their lodgement to the consent authority which places them into their local studies collection. A third copy is retained by H21 for up to seven years in case additional copies are required at any later date. H21 is required to hand over its moral rights to the document and these rights are assumed by the consent authority.

Why do I need this report?

The main purpose is to provide a long-term record of the building/ property prior to its demotion or modification.

When do I need this report?

Usually, after the DA has been approved, the consent authority will condition that a PAR be prepared pursuant to the Construction Certificate.

The process involves digital photography printed on archive-fast papers using special processing chemicals to a standard requiring a minimum of one hundred year’s durability. Each photograph is indexed to a floor plan showing the precise position from where the photograph is taken and the direction in which the camera is pointed. Each photograph is indexed to a schedule describing the direction relative to north in which the photographer positioned the view. The schedule describes the content or objects depicted in each photograph. Thus collectively the printed images, the floor plans and the schedules, provide precise information about materials, structures and spaces in and around the heritage building as a permanent visual record. The information is then gathered by local studies collections, state libraries or general documentary archives. In this fashion, information pertaining to historical places is retained photographically for the benefit of researchers and members of the public who are interested in the information provided by such records.

Heritage 21 has undertaken more than 60 Photographic Archival Record reports since starting its consultancy in 1994 and is therefore well placed to assist you with all your documentary needs.

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