Preserving and Archiving Photographs

Pin It       As you know my main occupation is photography. Creating an image is a satisfying and productive process but I like to adress this art along with museology and archiving as well. The title of my post graduate thesis study was "The use of photography in the museums and the criterias of photography as a collection object". After completing this study, I worked in the rich archives of Istanbul Archaeology Museums for 3 years. Dealing with 80-90 year-old films & glass plates made me read and learn more about this subject and thus restoration, conservatiton and storage of the old negatives and prints turned to be my main concerns. If you are interested in it and want to read more about this issue, the link of my thesis is as follows -it is in Turkish for now but I will translate it into English soon:


My cousin and me 29 years ago :)
      Here I will not tell you about technical processes or chemical restoration formulas but simple and effective archiving tips instead, because all of us have many pictures in our homes and they are indeed very precious to keep our personal history.
      * First of all, avoid touching the emulsion side of a photograph. Hold it by its edges and from underneath. Rough handling can cause tears, scratches and cracks, and oils, lotion residues, and perspiration can stain photographs. So make sure your hands are clean and dry.
      * Family albums need to be organized as well as protected. Many albums in stores are considered potentially hazardous because they may have been made of unsafe materials. Small groups of the same type photograph of similar size and condition can be stored together in a folder, envelope, or sleeve, and then placed in a good quality box.  Avoid paper clips, rubber bands, tapes that can damage photographs.
      * Store valuable, historic or fragile albums horizontally (flat) in a good quality box or wrap with good quality paper to protect from light, dust, and to keep the album together.
      * An internal closet or rooms surrounded by other living space are often the most stable environments for the storage.  Avoid storing photographs in too hot and damp areas.
      * Do not store photographs on the floor because they are more susceptible to physical damage and water exposure.
      Finally, pictures are to look at also so do not forget to go through them from time to time, preferably with other family members because there may be so many memories, funny conversations while having this good quality time:).

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