Digitising Analogue Photography: A reproduction of the past or the creation of something new?


  • SAM - Student theses

Document type

Publication date

  • 2014


  • Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus


  • This bachelor thesis examines the process of digitising analogue photography within an archival institution, to see whether or not these processes are successful in creating a digital copy or reproduction with archival quality, or whether they in fact produce something new. This topic is relevant in today’s digital environment since it is the method of digitising that makes way for easier dissemination and allows a wider audience access to archival material. One can predict that an analogue photograph’s digital reproduction may be the only version we have access to in the future and it is therefore important that the process and routines behind digitising, are capable of creating a digital reproduction that is authentic, reliable, usable and with integrity. In other words, that the reproduction possesses the same characteristics and archival qualities of its analogue predecessor. The methods used for this research have been qualitative data collection via interviewing of employees at Riksarkivet on the processes and routines around the digitising of analogue photographs, combined with an empirical comparison analysis of four analogue photographs and their digital reproduction counterparts. My comparison analysis shows that the digital reproductions produced vary notably in quality. In some cases it is possible to observe many of the archival qualities of its predecessor, however in other cases the digital reproduction differs so much so, that even the image content is contradictory. As a result, the digital reproduction created is in fact not a copy, but something new.