...Photographs should be protected from extended exposure to intense light sources. Limit exhibition times, control light exposure, and monitor the condition of the photographs carefully. Prolonged or permanent display of photographs is not recommended. Use unbuffered ragboard mats, and frame photographs with archivally sound materials. Use ultraviolet-filtering plexiglass to help protect the photographs during light exposure. Reproduce vulnerable or unique images and display the duplicate image; in this way, the original photograph can be properly stored and preserved.

Disaster preparedness begins by evaluating the storage location and the potential for damage in the event of a fire, flood, or other emergency. It is important to create a disaster preparedness plan that addresses the specific needs of the collection before a disaster occurs.

The location and manner in which photographs are housed can be the first line of defense. Identify photographic materials that are at higher risk of damage or loss. Remove all potentially damaging materials such as paper clips and poor-quality enclosures. Store negatives and prints in separate locations to increase the possibility of an image surviving a catastrophe. If a disaster occurs, protect the collection from damage by covering it with plastic sheeting and/or removing it from the affected area. If using plastic, make sure not to trap in moisture as this could lead to mold growth. Evaluate the situation and document the damage that has occurred. Contact a conservator as soon as possible for assistance and advice on the recovery and repair of damaged materials.

PS .If your photograph requires special attention or you are unsure about how to protect it, you should contact a conservator.To search for a conservator near you.

Cabaret of Spirits ATELIER

Cabaret of Spirits ATELIER

Treatment Options for Photographic Materials may include

mold removal
surface cleaning
stain reduction (only if possible and safe to do so)
tape and adhesive removal
separation from poor quality mounts
consolidation of cracked or flaking emulsion
mending tears or breaks
conservation of cased photographs and case repair
electro-cleansing of tarnished daguerreotypes
rehousing options
four-flap enclosures
clamshell boxes
polyester sleeves
conservation framing


Hundreds of millions of photographs have been lost over the years to natural disasters, wars, and the age-old urge to clean house. So there is something special about every old photograph that's survived. Someone decided to make it... someone else, to buy it... and a lot of someones decided to keep it over the years. Whether you're the caretaker of a treasured family album or a collector who has searched out the classics of photography, it's important to preserve and protect the images you value. Fortunately, there is new information about what to do and what to avoid. And there are specialized products available to help.



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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

gold bath

Early in the history of photography conservation, cracks were a tool to identify albumen photographs.

Exposure to Moisture Causes Changes in Albumen Prints

The process is as follows : Sensitise the paper as usual on a nitrate of silver bath, at 20 per cent., and print in the ordinary way; only, it is better to overprint it a little. Then place the proof in a dish of water in order to free it from the greater part of its nitrate; put it, afterwards, in a dish of salted water, and leave it there from five to ten minutes. The object of this bath is, to convert every trace of free nitrate that might have been left in it by the first bath into chloride. This bath is essential to prevent the decomposition of the following bath, in which the proof is to be next placed. This bath is composed as follows :

Sesquichloride of gold
15 grains.

Phosphate of soda (the purified tribasic phosphate of commerce)
300 grains.

Distilled water
1¾ pints.

N.B. This bath ought to be completely neutral, or, at all events, rather alkaline than acid. If it should be acid, it is a sign that the chloride of gold was not properly prepared.

As soon as placed in this bath, the tone of the proof begins to change, and passes rapidly from red to purple, violet, and black; at the same time, the solarised parts of the proof lose their dead tone, and all their details are developed in an astonishing manner.

The colouring may be arrested at any moment. If it be stopped at the purple tone, the proof will appear sepia after the operation, if stopped at the black tone, it is rather black or grey. After this bath, the proof is put in a new hyposulphite of soda bath, of 20 per cent., in which -a little Spanish white has been put in suspension, and finished as usual.

These proofs are so stable that they resist the action of a cyanide of potassium bath for a very long time.

The great advantages of this process are:
1. The colouring bath is perfectly neutral, and cannot produce any decomposition in the hyposulphite of soda; 2. The colour is entirely produced by the gold, which has hitherto been considered the most certain means of colouring, since the proof is not in contact with the hyposulphite until after it has received its colour. Finally, there does not exist in the bath any organic acid to determine its spontaneous decomposition, and the precipitation of the gold in a metallic state.

The colouring bath described above may be prepared beforehand, it does not decompose by keeping if care be taken that none of that used is returned to the bottle. It is likewise very economical, since with 15 grains of chloride of gold, sixty or seventy pictures, 24 X 30, may be coloured. In order to make sure that no traces of gold that may be left in the bath after use shall be lost, the remains of these baths should be poured into a bottle containing some bits of copper