-Photographs will fade in direct sunlight.
-Never laminate photographs. (This cannot be reversed).
-Do not put sticky tape on photographs.
-Never attempt to clean old photos by wiping with water. This will soften the emulsion and tear it.
-Use silica packets in boxes of photos to protect from moisture.
-Don’t put photos face to face as they may stick together.
-Generally, with photographs, the colder the storage, the longer the life.
-N.B. Before attempting any “repairs” on an original photograph consider potential damage. If in doubt, consult a conservator.
I would highly recommend this course, which is run entirely online, to anyone interested in furthering their knowledge of their family history.
I found the section on researching family photographs particularly interesting.
The unit explored how human environments, inherited items and images provide a way to relate to your family’s past.
This was a foundation unit and it has encouraged me to continue with the rest of the course, which covers how to locate, identify and analyse relevant historical information online, in archives and in family collections.
With particular relevance to photography, the unit explored in detail how to date family photos, using information from the photo itself to provide clues. For instance, what type of photograph was it, what was the style of clothing on the subjects, and how were the subjects posed.
The photo on the left is a “Carte de visit”, or calling card photograph.
We can tell it was made in the late 1880s because the oval shape became popular and the close-up image wasn’t seen in earlier CDVs. Also, we see rounded edges which also dates the image to this time.
These are important as we are rapidly losing much of our architectural heritage to modern development.
Also, they provide an important reference for how previous generations lived.