BaltHerNet summer school about photographic collections
From June 26 to 29 BaltHerNet summer school took place in Rõuge Parish in southern Estonia, in the same location where first summer school was held in 2007. BaltHerNet is a non-profit organization focusing on the history and heritage of Baltic people in exile (Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians). This year's summer school had presentations about the photographic heritage of the Estonian diaspora abroad and collections about diaspora in the Estonian public collections (mostly in the National Archives, in the Estonian National Museum and in the Estonian Literary Museum). According to Piret Noorhani, the president of BaltHerNet and the main organizer of the event, all the larger Estonian diaspora communities were represented. Among other presentations, Vahur Puik (Estonian Photographic Heritage Society, WMEE) spoke about the rights related to images and about using digital tools to describe photo collections and also about geotagging pictures on the crowdsourcing platform Ajapaik.ee he is the manager of. Ivo Kruusamägi introduced the Wikimedia Commons and different ways of contributing to Wikipedia. A topic that was discussed more was identifying the persons depicted on old images and ways of capturing the data. During the summer school Vahur conducted an experiment with two free (but not open source) software tools – Picasa from Google (not anymore in development, but still usable) and Apple Photos (part of MacOS by default) and processed a collection of more than 10000 photographs from the portal of Estonian cultural history Kreutzwald's Century.
The summer school reminded how much and what kind of cultural heritage of our countries and cultures may be located outside of the country and how the digitization of these collections can help in joining it into our shared cultural heritage and memory.