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Training day: Preserving historic photographs

Photographic collections are found in libraries, archives and museums all over the world. Their sensitivity to environmental conditions, and the speed with which images can deteriorate present special challenges. This one day training session is led by Susie Clark, accredited photographic conservator. It is aimed at those with responsibility for the care of photographic collections regardless of institutional context.

The day provides an introduction to understanding and identifying photographic processes and their vulnerability, information on common conservation problems and solutions, and the preservation measures that can be taken to prolong the life and accessibility of photographic collections. Contact with real examples of different photographic processes is an important feature of this training session which is therefore limited to only 16 places. At the end of the day participants will be able to:

  • identify historic photographic processes
  • explain how damage is caused
  • implement appropriate preservation measures
  • commission conservation work.

Feedback from previous participants

  • I learned how to store photographic material, how to identify different photographic processes and techniques to preserve photographic stock.
  • Very worthwhile due to practical nature of the training day. I am able to leave here today confident that we can improve and upgrade basic preservation solutions, particularly storage, based on information learned about photographic processes and supports.
  • I will review our approach to preserving photographic collections, upgrade storage media, and survey collections to identify preservation priorities.


  9.45 Registration
10.00 Welcome and introduction
10.15 History and identification of photographic processes
11.30 Break
11.45 Conservation problems and solutions
12.45 Lunch
13.45 Conservation problems and solutions
14.45 Break
15.00 Preservation measures
16.15 End (and further opportunity to look at examples)

Preservation Advisory Centre Training Day

Friday 20 May 2011

British Library Centre for Conservation
96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB

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