Photographs dating back

photographs dating back-42
“Photographs are prone to yellowing and fading, due to pollutants, high relative humidity, and residual processing chemicals but one of the main causes of damage is handling,” says Jacqueline Moon, Photographic Conservator at the National Archives and Vice Chair of the Institute of Conservation (ICON)'s Photographic Materials Group.

“Photographs are prone to yellowing and fading, due to pollutants, high relative humidity, and residual processing chemicals but one of the main causes of damage is handling,” says Jacqueline Moon, Photographic Conservator at the National Archives and Vice Chair of the Institute of Conservation (ICON)'s Photographic Materials Group.

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“Consider displaying a digital copy and keeping the originals safe,” Jacqueline suggests. Share your pictures with others You may decide that once they’ve been digitised, you no longer require the originals.

In which case, you might be able to donate them to a museum.

“Put the photo underneath, with two lights on opposite sides of it.

The bigger the light sources, the better because the light will be softer.

“They would have to be very special examples of a beautifully preserved image, a particularly exciting process or technique, an early image, an important sitter, an unusual kind of photograph or an artistically conceived picture,” says Martin Barnes, adding: “If people are interested in donating works, once they have copies of them for their family, this is the ideal place to store, look after and make photos accessible in conditions most people can’t in their own private houses.” If your prints don’t quite fit the V&A’s criteria, research smaller, specialist museums and archives - those dedicated to a particular occupations, regions or groups of servicemen, for example.

Facebook is an obvious choice for sharing your digital images but if you’re concerned about privacy, opt for Flickr, Dropshots, Photobucket, Dropbox or Google Drive.“An albumen print, which has been coated with egg white and has a light sensitive silver solution in it, from the 1870s to 1890s, will be much more prone to yellowing and fading than a silver gelatin print from, say, the 1930s or 40s.” If in doubt, consult a photographic conservator - you can source one through Icon’s Conservation Register.In general, ”Avoid attics and basements - places where there is going to be fluctuating temperature,” says Jacqueline.A mid range lens - 50-100mm - helps avoid distortion.” 3.Organise your digital collection Jacqueline recommends giving the date the photo was taken, the location and the names of people in it as the file name and then using tags to add other information, such as the process, “daguerrotype” for example, and also the date you digitised the photo, “so you have a trail”.The V&A runs an opinion service on the first Tuesday of every month, from 2.30pm to 5pm.”It’s a bit like the antiques roadshow, without the valuations,” explains the V&A’s Senior Curator of Photographs, Martin Barnes.Perhaps you don’t know who the people in some older photos are.Specialists such as the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Heinz Archive and Library, and consultant Jayne Shrimpton can assist.“We look at the type of photography - the format, technique and process - and then curators from our textiles and fashion departments look at what people are wearing so together we can help pin down the date.” 4.Preserve the originals Store original photographs of the same period together to “keep that historical integrity,” says Jacqueline.

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