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History, Conservation, and Repair The history of photographic prints, and how best to care for and repair them.

Dirty Glass plate negatives and "White" negatives

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Old 07-28-2010, 03:43 AM
Archivegirl Archivegirl is offline
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Dirty Glass plate negatives and "White" negatives

Hi

I work at a large city archive, and are in the prosess of scanning the collections we have here. Right now I am working with a donated archive from around 1880-1930. It contains both glassplates and what I think is acetat negatives.

The thing is, they have not been kept very well. Alot of silver mirroring on the negatives, but the worst for the scanning is actually the dirt. They are covered in dust, and some of them has this white dust in the shape of iceroses, looks like they are frozen, but they are not. I am afraid they might have been attacked by microorganisms, but I have no expirience to help me "diagnose" them. When I brush them with a soft cloth, this dust goes away on the surface, but are still visible within the picture.

The other negatives, some of them have turned "white", it's like the silver in them are just gone, they kind of look like positives when I look at them. But I am sure they are not.

I was wondering if there is possible to clean the negatives, both the glass and the acetat ones, and how to scan the "white" ones, if it is even possible.

Thank you.
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:03 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: Dirty Glass plate negatives and "White" negati

You might want to contact your local history museum, one large enough to have a conservation staff. It sounds like you have some serious problems here in need of some experienced guidance. Lacking that, it would be worth your while to contract a conservator for a day or more to get you on the right track.
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Old 07-28-2010, 04:07 AM
Archivegirl Archivegirl is offline
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Re: Dirty Glass plate negatives and "White" negati

Hi

Thank you for your fast reply.
I have already contacted a conservator. The problem is I live in Norway, and we only have one photoconservator in the entire country. It is ridiculous. He has not yet answered me, so I think he might be on a summer vacation.
I am not sure what to do if he does not answer me, I am afraid the pictures will be completely lost.
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Old 07-28-2010, 05:00 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: Dirty Glass plate negatives and "White" negati

I'd guess there are many qualified conservators, but they are employed by museums. But that doesn't mean you can't discuss it with them.

Try asking here: photo@nasjonalmuseet.no
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