Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Here are some examples for housing different photographic materials.
Sink Mat Housing (can be used for both photographs and glass plate negatives):

Sink Mat with Polyester Cover:

Double-Window Mat:

Polyester L-Sleeve:

Four-Flap Enclosure for Cased Photographs:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dacron Lining

It is a conservation technique intended to provide a structural support of the photograph after removing a poor quality mount.

You need:
  • Plexiglas
  • Polyester (Dacron)
  • Filtered water  
  • Mylar (melinex polyester)
  • Wheat starch paste
  • Two Japanese brushes (one for applying the starch paste and one for flattening)
  • Two pieces of western paper: one Mirage (for support) and one library Bristol board (for aesthetic purposes)
  • Scalpel
 How to do:
  1. Apply wheat starch paste on plexiglas surface and cover it with a sheet of wet polyester (Dacron).
  2. Brush wheat starch paste all over the Dacron, put a damp sheet of Mirage paper on it and apply wheat starch paste.
  3. Put the piece of Bristol board on top of the coated Mirage paper.
  4. Aside, place the photograph on a separate piece of mylar with the face down and humidify it from both sides.
  5. Apply wheat starch paste all over the back of the photograph.
  6. Place it on the Bristol board and remove the mylar by rolling it.
  7. Wipe the surface of the photograph in order to remove the excess water and leave it to dry for few days.
  8. Remove the photograph from the plexiglas and polyester mechanically. Trim it with scalpel.
  • For this type of lining the wheat starch paste should be thinner than mending paste.
  • Use blender for preparation of the paste because it helps to make it smoother.
  • You can use any other paper with smooth surface.

Useful Links

Northeast Document Conservation Center :
Image Permanence Institute:
George Eastman House (Notes on Photographs):
Getty Conservation Institute (Research on Photograph Conservation):
Care, Handling and Storage of Photographs:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art:


It is a conservation technique intended to secure emulsion that is in danger of detaching.

You need:
  • 1% of gelatin
  • Coffee warmer
  • Filtered water (to humidify the photograph)
  • Warm press
  • Brushes
  • Release paper (put in the warm pres)
How to do
  1. Warm up 1% gelatin on coffee warmer until it gets liquid.
  2. Put the photograph on the clean surface with the recto down so you see verso.
  3. Spray it twice.
  4. Aplly the gelatin along the cracks of the photograph by brush.
  5. Put the photograph with the face down in the warm press for 20 seconds (no more).
  6. Put it under weight over night.
  • If you don’t have 1% gelatin you can make it by yourself. It is a simple procedure of putting 1 gr. gelatin grains into 100 ml. filtered water. The gelatin will swell as it absorbs the water. If we keep it in refrigerator it can last for 6 months. 

The treatment of the photograph below included: cleaning, mending, filling the losses, consolidation and inpainting.