Preserving the photographic memory of a Nation
After its foundation in 1985/1986, Spaarnestad Photo has been working as an independent institution at the preservation of the photographic archives of the former Haarlem based De Spaarnestad publishing company.From its beginning the task of SPH has been the preservation and disclosure of the abundance of the photographic contents of the archives - a century of Dutch and international documentary photography laid down in ca. 5 million photos at the time of writing - by turning the former company archives into an archive for the public. This is done, among other things, by making the photos available for (photo)historic research and educational purposes, by organizing exhibitions in SPH's own exhibition rooms in Haarlem or those of others and by stimulating photographic publications.The size and quality of SPH's collections make the archives one of the main photographic memories in the Netherlands. Without the swift act of the SPH Foundation in the mid-80s, the photographic landscape of the Netherlands and its social sphere would have been deprived of a large part of its history.By co-operating with professional photo-conservationists, SPH works continuously at the conservation of photographs. For this purpose, SPH not only depends on the possibilities of outside funding, but it also invests a substantial part of its own resources into the permanent conservation of the photographs. Nowadays SPH works at being a source of inspiration for contemporary photographers, historians, artists and designers who use the archives for their own work in a way of which the original makers of the pictures and the archives could only dr...
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Enjoying SFA's photographic collection
One of the stimulating aspects of the photo collection is the link between past and present which SPH enables to explore. By means of photo assignments and guest-curatorship with the purpose of producing exhibitions, SPH brings modern photographers and their work and the public into contact with each other and with the photography from the past.By working in this way, SPH brings to the attention of the public the different aspects of photography: documentary, autonomous, commercial and applied. In this way, the scope of the original documentary photos of the SPH collection has been expanded into a much wider field of possibilities.Keeping the collection together as a whole has increased the value of the photos, which goes beyond the value of the individual photo. The collection is a source of mass culture of the 20th century by well-known photographers as well as an even greater number of anonymous photographers. This enables future generations to understand how people looked at their surroundings in different times.The versatility of the collection allows photography to be dealt with in a much wider field than in the days the photos originally were published. SFA stimulates its collection to be used as a source of inspiration for many. Just preserving the collection has from the very outset been considered as too limited a goal.
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Monday till Friday, only by appointment between 9.30-17.00 h
Galerie 37 Spaarnestad
Thurday till Sunday 12.00 â€“ 17.00 h
New Year, Easter, Ascension Day, Pentecost and Xmas closed
Address of Spaarnestad Photo
Groot Heiligland 47
2011 EP Haarlem
Address of Galerie 37 Spaarnestad
Groot Heiligland 37
2011 EP Haarlem
Phone + 31(0)23 551 84 32
With the Frans Hals museum, the historical museum Haarlem and the ABC architecture Centre, the Spaarnestad Photo and Galerie 37 Spaarnestad form the cultural heart of Haarlem.
This â€śculture corner
Lift available for senior or handicapped citizens
In 2004 Spaarnestad Photo has undertaken an inventarisation of her collections in the Museum Inventarisation Project (MusIP). In the future we plan to publish this inventarisation on this website.
In the meantime this inventarisation can be accessed through the website of MusIP: http://www.musip.nl
Museum internal and external photos (1)
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Besides instructing school children, Spaarnestad Photo is also interested in adult education. Regularly readings and presentations about (press- and documentary) photography and exhibitions, topic or news items are taking place in the auditorium of the gallery. Moreover on request Spaarnestad organizes guided tours showing photos of the exhibitions or of the archives. Do you want a personal tour with your students, history workshop, cultural association or company? Please inquire with Tamara Sterman, by calling
023-5185159 or mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renting the Gallery
Will be possible in the near future, please inquire by
calling +31 23 518 51 50