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Protecting daguerreotypes: a new structural housing system

Event Details

Protecting daguerreotypes: a new structural housing system

Time: July 4, 2019 at 9am to July 5, 2019 at 5pm
Location: National Library of Scotland
Street: 33 Salisbury Place
City/Town: Edinburgh
Website or Map:…
Event Type: workshop
Organized By: The Icon Photographic Materials Group
Latest Activity: May 8, 2019

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Event Description

The Icon Photographic Materials Group and the National Library of Scotland are delighted to announce a practical workshop with photographic conservator Clara M. Prieto. Conservators, archivists and curators of historical photograph collections are invited to participate. The one-day workshop will be taught at the National Library of Scotland on each of two consecutive days: Thursday 4th and Friday 5th July 2019.

Clara M. Prieto de la Fuente is an independent conservator and restorer of photographs and graphic art. In addition to conservation treatment and research, she teaches conservation and restoration at the Escuela Superior de Conservación y Restauración de Bienes Culturales in Madrid. Until 2010 she worked for Anne Cartier-Bresson in the Atelier de Restauration et Conservation des Photographies de la Ville de Paris as Conservation Project Manager. After receiving a grant from the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía she returned to Madrid, and in 2012 became a fellow of the Instituto de Patrimonio Cultural de España. She holds a Master’s degree in heritage conservation and a degree in the conservation and restoration of graphic art; in 2008 she was awarded a scholarship from the Ministerio de Cultura de España in order to specialise in photographic preservation at the Institut National du Patrimoine, Paris.

This workshop will familiarise participants with the history, processing and housing of daguerreotypes. Theory on the documentation and system design for developing the new structural housing system for cased daguerreotypes will be outlined, and each participant will carry out practical work developing one or two protection systems for cased daguerreotypes


The new structural housing system is designed to strengthen the first line of defence of the daguerreotype - the case - and protect it during storage, exhibition, handling and viewing, thereby mitigating the risk of further deterioration. The main objective of the workshop is to build a housing system that takes into account the whole object in its functionality and original structure, while allowing for its handling and viewing without increasing the risk of damage. The proposed system not only comprehensively protects daguerreotypes, and other encased photographs such as ambrotypes, but also recreates something of the original intimate viewing experience.

Each workshop will host a maximum of eight participants, who are encouraged to bring their own encased daguerreotypes or ambrotypes for practise. ¼" plates will be used most frequently, but the exercises can be done using plates of any size; smaller plates will be more complicated while larger ones will require more material.

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