The Christian Palestinian Archive (CPA) is a growing collection of scans of archival documents from the first half of the 20th century, documenting the personal histories of the Christian Palestinian community worldwide. The CPA was founded in 2009, and includes today thousands of scans of historical images. It is the only archive dedicated to the Christian Palestinians. Unlike other archives, the CPA is not engaged in reconstruction or conservation, and all "original" photographs are sent to their owners after being scanned and added to the archive. In the past 5 years, the CPA has been built by individuals for their community. Families from the Palestinian diaspora are contributing representations of their family albums to the archive on a daily basis. Unlike state archives, the CPA project is not based on collections of professional photographers, but on a wide range of professionals and "amateurs" photographers mixed together.Therefore, the archive includes scans of postcards, professional studio photographs, wedding photographs, passport photographs, maps, and more. The project emphasizes the importance of representations of images in two parallel practices: Aesthetical and historical. The first is the arrangement of the ingredients in the scanned material- the visual content of the image which the original photographer wanted to point at. The second is the material qualities of the original photograph—its surface texture etc. It presents the historic photograph not only as an image, but also as an object. In other words, each JPEG effectively has two authors and two dates of creation: that of its original date and then the CPA's "revival" in a new form and context. The archive has been useful for architects, scholars, artists, sociologists and curators as a source of knowledge for their own practice.
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