Fotografie albuminowe – wytwarzanie, właściwości, trwałość i ochrona przed niszczeniem
Albumen prints – production, properties, permanence and protection against damage
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Albumen prints on paper constitute a large part of the collection of photographs created in the 19th century. They are most often found in CDV format. The article presents the technique of making albumen prints – materials and substances that the photographs were created from and the methods of their processing are discussed. Characteristic damage observed in albumen prints is a matter of concern to conservators and collection custodians. This is why these photographs have become the subject of detailed research and analyses. Methods of albumen prints identification have been presented. The appearance of most of these photographs has been substantially changed and differs from the look of the well-preserved ones. The article includes, among others, the results of James M. Reilly’s advanced research on the deterioration of albumen prints. Attention has been drawn to improper storing conditions that negatively impact the state of preservation of these photographs (optical changes, the albumen layer cracking). The recommended conditions are: RH of 30-40% and a temperature below 18ºC. Daily fluctuations of these parameters are very dangerous. There is a serious risk of deterioration in the case of albumen prints transferred from an air-conditioned warehouse to a warm and damp reading room. In such cases, air-conditioning the photographs in rooms of transitory conditions is essential, moreover, the prints have to be specially packed. Albumen prints subject to conservation works must not be washed with water, as the washing and drying process deepens the cracks in the albumen layer. Attention has also been drawn to the kinds and properties of materials used for packing the photographs in order to protect them against dust and dirt. Only materials with the PAT (Photographic Activity Test) certificate can be used for the conservation of the prints. Other issues have been raised as well, among others, the problems related to providing proper storing conditions for photographs from state and private collections.
- dr, pracownik naukowo-dydaktyczny Zakładu Konserwacji Papieru i Skóry Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu, konserwator obiektów wykonanych z papieru i skóry, zajmuje się także m.in. badaniem materiałów oraz analizą dawnych sposobów wytwarzania papieru, skóry garbowanej, pergaminu.
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