a brief introduction to photo preservation

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Author: kevin-schlottmann

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This is a brief introduction to photograph preservation for archivists.

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  • 1. OverviewI. The ImageII. The ObjectIII. In the ArchivesIV. Exercise

2. Why? 3. I. The Image 4. I. The Image Whats in an image? 5. I. The Image Reading an Image Five Ws Who What Where When Why 6. I. The Image Reading an ImageWho? Photographer Subject 7. I. The Image Reading an ImageWhat? Present Absent 8. I. The Image Reading an ImageWhere? Location 9. I. The Image Reading an ImageWhen? Fashion Technology Absence 10. I. The Image Reading an ImageWhy? Context Intention 11. I. The Image Reading an ImageThe "Carrying-in Boy," In anIndiana Glass Works, 1:00 A. M.,Aug., 1908. Location: Indiana.Why?National Child Labor CommitteeCollection Context Intention 12. I. The Image Reading an Image Visual Elements Composition Depth of field Point of view Rhythm Color balance Tonal range 13. II. The Object 14. II. The Object Photo Basics 15. II. The Object What is photography? 16. II. The Object What is a photograph? A complex physical object that has an image fixed via a photochemical process 17. II. The ObjectPhotograph Structure Light-sensitive particles:Baryta layer silver, color dyes Emulsion: gelatin, albumen, collodionBase: paper, glass, metal, plastic 18. II. The Object Photo History 19. II. The Object Photo History 20. II. The ObjectPhoto History Easier to create Easier to duplicate More accessible Cheaper 21. II. The Object Common Formats and Processes 22. II. The Object Physical Evidence Polarity Size Base and mount Color Reflection Microscopic appearance 23. II. The Object Physical Evidence 24. II. The ObjectTintypes (ca. 1856-1930s) Collodion on blackened iron base Direct positive image Extremely popular during Civil War 25. II. The ObjectTintypes (ca. 1856-1930s) Cheap and ubiquitous Often worn or scratched Identification: Snip marks Magnet test (on back) Reversed image Mainly portraiture 26. II. The Object Albumen Prints (1850-1895) POP from wet collodionnegatives Always mounted Tend towardsepia/yellowish 27. II. The Object Albumen Prints (1850-1895) 80% of extant 19th-century prints Cartes-de-visite Cabinet cards Paper fibers visibleIdentification: 30x magnification Paper fibers Cracking Yellowing Mount 28. II. The ObjectLantern Slides (1849-1950s) Glass slide Positive image Often used foreducational purposes 29. II. The ObjectSilver Gelatin DOPs (1885-present) Dominant 20th-century process Dozens of formats Identification: Neutral unless toned Baryta layer (no paper fibers visible) 30. II. The ObjectSilver Gelatin DOPs (1885-present) 31. II. The ObjectSilver Gelatin DOPs (1885-present) 32. II. The ObjectColor Prints (1930s-today) Organic dyes Many processes Identification: Characteristic deterioration Unstable 33. II. The ObjectInstant Photos (1948-today*) Photo printed frompacket with negative,developer, baseIdentification: Adhesion markings ordeveloping pod Coating flaws Unique Unstable 34. II. The Object Film Negatives Cellulose nitrate(1887-1950) Cellulose diacetate(1937-1956) Cellulose triacetate(1947-present) Polyester(1960-present) Roll film 35. II. The ObjectFilm Negatives Identification: Notch codes Other tests Cellulose bases unstable Sheet film 36. II. The Object Other Processes 37. II. The ObjectDigital Photos (1990-today) Sensor converts light tobits, computer rendersimage Digital preservation 38. II. The ObjectWhy? Preservation Access Context 39. II. The ObjectWhy? Photographs offer evidences and resonances not offered by other media 40. III. In the Archives 41. III. In the Archives Handling Wear gloves Provide support Use only pencils Gently remove from housing Be aware of physical condition Create and follow handling policy Consider surrogates 42. III. In the Archives Levels of Protection I: Enclosures (contact material) II: Furniture (proximity material) III: Environment 43. III. In the Archives Enclosures Paper (envelopes, four-flaps) Cheaper, blocks light, breathable Viewing requires handling Plastic (polyester, polystyrene, etc. No PVC!) Viewing without handling Expensive, not for unstable items Must pass Photographic Activity Test (PAT) 44. III. In the Archives Enclosures Boxes and folders PAT test Proper support for format (long edge down orflat) Ideally, separate photographs from other materials, and then by format (especially negatives!) Balance condition/format, use, resources 45. III. In the Archives Environment Temperature / relative humidity Light (sunlight, UV light) Pollutants (gaseous and particulate) Biological (mold, fungus, pests) 46. III. In the Archives Environment B/W silver gelatin: 65F, 30-50% RH B/W acetate negatives: 7F, 30-50% RH Chromogenic dye on paper: 36F, 30-40% RHMost good for the most items 47. III. In the Archives Selected Resources GeneralPhotographs: Archival Care and Management,Ritzenthaler & Vogt-OConnor (2006)Care and Identification of 19th-CenturyPhotographic Prints, Reilly (1986) 48. III. In the Archives Selected Resources GeneralSAA photo preservation workshopPhoto preservation and photo conservation listservs 49. III. In the Archives Selected Resources Cartes de VisiteCartes de Visite in Nineteenth Century Photography,Darrah (1981) FashionDressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americansand Fashion, 1840-1900, Severa (1995) 50. III. In the Archives Selected Resources Gelatin silverA Guide to Fiber-Base Gelatin Silver Print Condition and D NegativesThe Acetate Negative Survey, Horvath (1987) 51. IV. Exercise Divide into three groups Describe how to identify the photographusing image and physical evidence (5 min) Share your conclusions 52. Group 1 53. Group 1Sixth-plate sized tintype, 1880s Magnet test, snip marks Image reversed watch customarily on left Jacket, tie, and hat match 1880s style 54. Group 2 55. Group 2Carte-de-visite, early 1870s Medium card stock, square corners (1869-1871) Borders, common 1861-1869 Imprint with length-wise large type (common1870-1875) Shoes probably 1865-1875 Photographers active in 1870s 56. Group 3 57. III. In the Archives Group 3 Gelatin silver real photo postcard, ca. 1910s Neutral tonal range, silvering Cyko postage stamp area (1904-1920s) Divided back, no border: 1907-1915 58. Thank you!http://slidesha.re/[email protected]