Academic and National Library Training Co-operative
Preservation of Photographic Collections
ANLTC 2015/07
Wednesday 24th & Thursday 25th June 2015
(2-day workshop)
[9:30 am – 5:00 pm both days]
North Training Room, Trinity College Library Dublin, College Street, Dublin 2
Day One – 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
From Me to You: Course Goals and Introduction
Here, There and Everywhere: The Fundamental Components of Photographic Print and
Negative Materials
The Long and Winding Road: 19th-and 20th-Century Photographic Print Materials:
Manufacture, Identification, and Deterioration
Fixing a Hole: Factors to Consider in the Conservation Treatment of Photographic Print
Day Two – 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Help!: 19th – and 20th- Century Photographic Negative Materials: Manufacture,
Identification, Deterioration and Preservation
Eight Days a Week: Preservation Planning and Advocacy for Diverse Photographic
Across the Universe: Global Challenges in the Preservation of our Photographic Heritage
We Can Work it Out: Open Discussion
Libraries and Archives Collections contain large collections of photographic material which, due
to their chemical make-up and inherent fragility, require special consideration when planning
for their preservation.
This two-day workshop will familiarise participants with the identification, degradation, and
preservation of common photographic print materials, including the salted paper, albumen,
silver gelatin, chromogenic colour processes, and gelatin dry plate negatives and film-base
Preservation challenges related to large and diverse photographic collections will be reviewed
with attention paid to the importance of proper environments and storage materials,
emergency planning, and risk analysis.
The value and significance of photography, and the pressing need to secure funding and support
through effective preservation advocacy will be emphasized throughout the workshop.
Following completion of the two-day workshop, expected competencies and knowledge for all
participants include:
A basic familiarity with the fundamental physical and chemical properties of
photographic print and negative collections and the causes and mechanisms of their
A basic knowledge of the technological developments of photography in the 19 th, 20th
and 21st centuries with special focus on albumen, silver gelatin, chromogenic, and digital
print materials, and glass plate and film base negatives.
The ability to accurately distinguish prominent 19th- and 20th-century photographic
processes and to assess and articulate their preservation risk.
A basic understanding of and appreciation for issues relating to preventive care of
photographic collections, including appropriate environmental conditions; handling and
maintenance procedures for storage; exhibition and display parameters and monitoring
techniques; and emergency preparedness, mitigation, and response.
A basic knowledge of best practices in photograph preservation and an understanding of
the importance of risk assessment and preservation prioritization within a collection and
the need to balance preservation and access.
An appreciation for advocacy in the preservation of global cultural heritage. The ability
to articulate why the preservation of our photographic heritage is vital and relevant.
A familiarity with global initiatives addressing pressing needs in photograph
The course has relevance for staff who have responsibility for managing, cataloguing, conserving
and providing access to photographic material in Library, Archive and Museum Collections
Course presenter:
Debra Hess Norris: Chair/Professor of Art Conservation Department, University of Delaware
and Director of the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation.
Debra Hess Norris has authored more than 30 articles /book chapters, taught 120 workshops
globally, and secured nearly $14.5 million in external grants. Norris was the chair of Heritage
Preservation (2003-08) and president of the American Institute for the Conservation (AIC) (199397).
She served as president of the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts Board, US
commissioner to UNESCO, and project director of The Andrew W. Mellon Collaborative
Workshops in Photograph Conservation.
Norris was inducted into the UD Alumni Wall of Fame (2002) and appointed the Henry Francis
du Pont Chair in Fine Arts (2004). Norris received the AIC Rutherford John Gettens Merit Award
(1998), the AIC Sheldon and Caroline Keck Award (2004), and the AIC/University Products Award
She co-edited a compilation of fundamental writings in the field of photograph
conservation with Jennifer Jae Gutierrez – Issues in the Conservation of Photographs –
published by the Getty Conservation Institute in 2010.
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