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Mould removal / Reduction
Mould is reduced/removed from a
daguerreotype bare plate. Using a fine
paint brush with one or two hairs
remaining, the mould spider is gently
brushed. A hurricane air blower is then
used to blow away any loosened debris.
Sealing tape removal for cased objects
Conservation sealing tape is mechanically
removed from the back of a bare plate
daguerreotype. A cotton swab dipped in
distilled water is passed slowly over the tape,
as it is removed.
Glass plate repair
A repair on glass plate negatives uses a two-part
epoxy. The epoxy is prepared and dabbed along
one edge of the broken glass plate. The two
pieces are then attached and held together using
pressure. The plate is left to dry under weights.
This technique can be used with a
curling print requiring a mount for
exhibition or storage. A mount paper
that is slightly thicker than the
photograph is chosen. A window is
cut out to accommodate the
photograph. Small strips of Japanese
tissue coated with Klucel®-G are
reactivated and placed along all four
sides of the photograph and the
Cleaning of original glass
Original glass is rinsed with distilled water
and dried with a soft cotton, non-woven
fabric. Sometimes a mild soap is used. The
last rinse can be either ethanol or acetone.
The glass is then placed on its edge and airdried
in a dust-free area.
When a photograph has
mechanical deformities such
as creases, bends or wrinkles,
the conservator flattens the
photograph. In most cases, the
photograph is first gradually
and lightly humidified to relax
it. Then, the image must be
dried slowly and completely.
To ensure the stability and clarity of the works, the conservator dry cleans the
primary and secondary supports when they are soiled. The object is first
brushed to removed dust. Then a kneaded or grated eraser is applied with or
without a piece of cotton. After it is cleaned, the eraser is brushed away.
Cleaning with solvents
When photographs have heavy dirt marks or stains that
are resistant to dry cleaning, the conservator cleans them
with solvents. The choice of solvent, used alone or in a
mixture, and its method of application depend on the
sensitivity of the process and the solubility of the residue
needing to be removed.
The condition report is where information on
the condition of a work is recorded before any
intervention or exposure: the references of the
work, the photographic process and any
mechanical, biological or chemical
deterioration. The condition report helps
determine preventative measures and
stabilization or conservation treatments.
Removal from mount
Unmounting consists of removing a
photograph from its secondary support.
This is done only when it is absolutely
necessary for the preservation of the
When a photograph's support has
fragile areas such as creases or
tears, the conservator uses lining to
ensure safe handling. This
strengthening procedure consists of
attaching a suitable paper to the
back of the photograph.
ng consists of creating a
hermetic or semi-hermetic mount to
isolate a particularly sensitive
photograph and to minimize any risk
of deterioration caused by the harmful
effects of the environment.