British photographic history

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London's Getty Archive responds to COVID-19 impact

The Guardian newspaper has reported that the Getty Archive is using remote working to preserve its archival photographs. The Getty Images archive in Canning Town, east London, holds 80 million photographs and negatives, some of which are more than 100 years old and need careful preservation and protection to stop them quickly degrading.

Matthew Butson, the archive’s vice-president, said a mix of a small on-site team and the use of remote temperature and humidity controls were being used to protect the rare negatives and prints. “We’re not just a commercial archive, we’re looking after our cultural heritage,” he said. “We have remote controls to make sure the building has the correct temperature and humidity. Too much humidity is obviously bad for imagery; a lot of our negatives are glass and go back to the 19th century.

Read the full piece here:

Photograph: Rob Western

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