PMCC Master List of Subjects

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Introduction to the Master List

The intent of The Photographic Materials Group Conservation Catalog Master List of Subjects is as an evolving reference identifying potential conservation subjects specific to photographic materials requested by professional colleagues. This most recent list reflects information gathered in PMG membership surveys in 1990 and 2008. Your contributing efforts to expand this list into completed chapters for the benefit of all is most appreciated. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and your participation in the process.
Stephanie Watkins, PMCC Chair, 2011

Process Identification

Individual processes, history, technological manufacture, and instrumental analysis data of process of light sensitive material on all supports (paper, plastic, glass, metal, stone, ceramic, fabric, leather, wood)

Treatment Documentation

  • Visual examination, written documentation, and photographic documentation or digital image capture including format examples and options (For general information please see the AIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice, AIC Guide to Digital Photography, and Kushel's Photodocumentation for Conservation: Procedural Guidelines and Photographic Concepts and Techniques)
  • Non-destructive examination and testing including instrumental analysis
  • Connoisseurship, history, fakes or forgeries issues

Treatment Procedures

  • Surface cleaning techniques and materials
  • Aqueous treatments including washing, alkalinization, acid neutralization, and light bleaching techniques and materials
  • Solvent treatments including effects of solvents on photographic material and restoration or intensification of images
  • Reversing previous physical treatments, e.g. attachment and secondary support removal
  • Emergency (aka “disaster”) recovery techniques (See also Prevention)
  • Mold and foxing remediation
  • Mending, repair, and filling techniques and materials
  • Backing (paper), lining (cloth), and mounting (solid supports) techniques and materials
  • Design Compensation and Inpainting (1994, Gillis, Luxner, Norris, 27 pps.)
  • Humidification, Drying, and Flattening (in progress, Watkins)
  • Inherent vice from process or support:
  • Materials, tools, and equipment (covered under each section as necessary)

Preventative Conservation

  • Environmental standards and guidelines for storage per material type
    • Room temperature, cool, and cold storage specifications and designs
  • Housing materials and formats
  • Emergency (aka “disaster”) prevention techniques (for recovery techniques, see Treatment procedures)

Exhibition, Display, and Transport