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

Guidelines for ethical restoration of historical photos

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Old 03-20-2003, 10:13 PM
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Paul Paul is offline
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Guidelines for ethical restoration of historical photos

"These proposed guidelines are sponsored by DigitalCustom Group, Inc. and Fratelli Alinari to assist individuals and institutions who are involved in formulating policies for the ethical, accurate digital restoration of historical photos and other images that are maintained as part of historical and/or artistic archives."

The quote above is from an article that might be of interest, some other good articles to be found here

"From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots." -- Thomas Jefferson
"It is well that war is so terrible--we should grow too fond of it" -- Robert E. Lee
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Old 03-21-2003, 12:08 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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However good or bad the document might be, I'm uncomfortable with the entire concept because its very existence implies that ethical breaches are commonplace.

Luckily, it's for archivists, not really for working restorers.
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Old 03-24-2003, 07:50 PM
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Interesting document. I hate to say it, but questionable manipulation of old/historic photos is much more common place than one might want to think. Mostly by well meaning individuals who are seeking to "improve" the photo. I have seen quite a few, ranging from simple things like removing tree limbs, buildings,telegraph/telephone poles to some really horrific ones where the entire context of the photo was changed in such a way as to completely render it unfit as an historical doucment. Of course it is the perogative of the photo's owner to have anything done to it they want, but as I have said before, just because it can be done doesnot mean it should...unless the print is marked in such a way as to indicate to anyone examining it that it has been manipulated and roughly what was done. For any serious historic photo or family archive, I think the guidelines are excellent and every restorer/retoucher should at least read them and keep the suggestions in mind when working on photos. Tom
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