Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

 Saving your treasures

Photographs

Photographs and negatives are composed of three different parts or layers: a support base, a binder, and image material.

  • The support for a photographs or negative may be glass (glass plate negatives), a plastic film (slide negative), metal (a daguerreotype), paper (a photo print), or a resin-coated paper (a digital print). Some plastic negative bases are inherently unstable and will have a negative effect on the life of the image.
  • The binder layer or emulsion holds the final image material to the support and is most commonly gelatin but may also be albumen, collodion, or another material.
  • The final part of a photograph is the image producing material, often silver particles, color dyes, or pigment particles suspended in the emulsion layer.


Working with big photo collections:

  • Consult a conservator early on.
  • Wear gloves to handle negatives.
  • Store in conservation safe materials.
  • Take extra precautions with nitrates.

Photographs and negatives are generally cared for by paper conservators or those who have specialized in photographs and negatives alone.

More Resources (pdf)
Care of Nitrate and Acetate Film
Caring for Photographs

Cleaning Photographic Materials
Scanning Tip Sheet
Digital Imaging Project Documentation

Digitization Links

 

If you have any questions, ask a conservator.


 

Preservation Principles
   Identify
   Protect
   Display
   Store
   Manage
   Preserve

Types of Material
   Ceramics
   Glass
   Metals
   Wood
   Textiles
   Paper
   Paintings
   Other

Types of Objects
   Books / Bibles / Scrapbooks

   Photographs
   Works of Art
   Newspaper
   Furniture
   Firearms
   Textiles / Clothing / Uniforms
   Toys
   Tools / Mechanical / Instruments
   Dishes / Glassware / Silverware
   Jewelry
   Native American Items
   Natural History Specimens

More Resources
   Preservation Documents  (pdfs)
   Glossary of Terms
   See what we've done

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Staff   (directory)



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http://www.nebraskahistory.org/conserve/treasures/photographs.htm

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