Behind the scenes in the archives: photo conservation

Here’s an interesting piece by Archivist Susan Yates.  The photos show the front and back of the photo collage before the conservation work.

Conservation efforts are an ongoing activity in the Archives.  An example includes the Mahnia Silverberg Auxiliary photo collage dating from 1958.  I discovered the collage, along with other  photos stored in the back of the House of Hope.  This particular collage was in very poor condition.  All the images were kept in place using brown kraft-style paper which is very acidic and causes damage over time.

The Archives is using Erin Jue, conservator at the Huntington Library, to handle the treatment of an item like this.  She separated the photographs from the original mount (in some cases she found a photo underneath another photo), removed debris, repaired a torn photo, and housed all the images in custom sleeves.  Now the images are more easily available to look at and well protected.

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