PMG Non-destructive Testing and Instrumental Analysis

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The chapter reviews non-destructive testing and instrumental analysis helpful for use with photographic materials

Date initiated: September 2009
Contributors (alphabetically): Eva Grieten, Herman Maes, Klaus Pollmeier, William (Bill) Wei

The Photographic Materials Conservation Catalog was created and is maintained by the Photographic Materials Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works for the benefit of the membership. Treatments, methods, or techniques described herein are provided for informational purposes. Readers assume responsibility for any interpretation of information or application results.

Purpose of Non-Destructive Testing and Instrumental Analysis

  • To safely identify the chemical nature of the photographic matrix prior to storage, treatment, travel, or for scholarly research expanding the professional knowledge of culturally significant and historic photographic materials.
  • Minimize changes in the image, binder, and support from a better understanding of physical and chemical make-up of the photographic matrix.

Factors to Consider Before Examining and Testing

  • Sampling on originals should be avoided or strongly limited to the strictly necessary (exception).
  • Carefully consider the need for examination and testing. Avoid unnecessary testing.
  • Obtain permission from the owner, curator, or authorized agent prior to examining or testing.
  • Select the most appropriate examination or testing technique(s) that cover the needs.
  • Analyzing equipment often will be ‘static’ and the object has to be brought to the equipment. Consider a good packing and transport of the object will be required.
  • The object size can be restrictive by the selection of the examination or testing technique(s).
  • The examination location(s) should be representative for the given photographic object or different areas should be selected.
  • This areas should be free of extraneous materials or previous treatments. Areas showing deterioration or injury may respond differently.
  • Nearly all photographic materials can be considered as modern materials and often are composed out of many different kinds and types of materials. Testing of all the components of the photographic material can be required.
  • It is always useful to have a reference, control and/or blank sample simultaneously tested to judge the effect or the response of the test.
  • Judgement of the obtained results often requires experience and the use of controls.
  • The examination or test conditions should be documented well to make repeated or similar testing possible.

Effects of Examining and Testing on Photographic Materials

  • The examination and testing techniques should be safe and are considered being non-destructive. If during examination or testing alterations should become visible, testing should be stopped immediately.
  • Limit the duration an object or a certain area of it will be exposed to the testing conditions or environment, to the strict minimum. Examination or testing equipment should be set-up and calibrated in advance.
  • Local testing can create local staining or (temporary) local planar deformation of the support or binding medium.
  • Some non-destructive testing methods can create temporary local physical changes of the substrate and or binding medium.

Standards, Guidelines and Recommendations


Techniques for Non-Destructive Analysis

Appearance Measurement

  • Spectrophotometry
  • Gloss
  • Micro-fade Testing
  • Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI)

Elemental analysis

  • X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF)
    • XRF spectroscopy is used to identify inorganic components in photographs. This is valuable for determining image forming metals, toners, additives, paper components and additional layers.
    • This technique cannot identify organic components of the photograph including binder layers, carbon-based pigments and paper fiber content.
  • X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)

Infrared (IR) Imaging

Micro fade testing (slightly destructive)

Microscopy

  • Optical Microscope
  • Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

Molecular Analysis

  • Raman Spectroscopy
  • FTIR

Radiography

  • Beta-radiography
  • X-radiography

Surface Profilometry

Ultraviolet (UV)

UVA/Visible Fluorescence of a Hand-colored Photograph
  • UV induced visible fluorescence
    • UVA: Examination and imaging of UVA/visible fluorescence can provide information that is difficult to see in normal light examination. Some examples:
      • Optical brightening agents
      • Sizing
      • Previous treatment
      • Mold growth
      • Hand applied pigments
      • Pigments used in the photographic process (dye transfer prints, etc.)
      • Adhesives
      • Varnishes
    • UVC


Standards Organizations

  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 1819 L Street, NW, 6th floor Washington, D.C. 20036 USA 202-293-8020 phone; 202-293-9287 facsimile OR 11 West 42nd Street, 13 floor, New York, N.Y. 10036 USA 212-642-4900 phone; 212-398-0023 facsimile [email protected]; http://www.ansi.org
  • American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) 100 Bar Harbor Drive West Conshohocken, PA. 19428 USA 610-832-9585 phone; 610-832-9555 facsimile [email protected]alastm.org; http://www.astm.org
  • British Standard Institution (BSI) 389 Chiswick High Road London W44AL United Kingdom +44-20-8996-9000 phone; +44-20-8996-7400 facsimile [email protected]; http://www.bsi-global.com
  • Deutsches Institut fur Normung (DIN) Burggrafenstrasse 6 D-10787 Berlin Germany/ Deutschland +49-30-26-01-0 phone; +49-30-26-01-12-31 facsimile [email protected]; http://www.din.de
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 1, rue de Varembe Case postale 56 CH-1211 Geneve 20 Switzerland/Suisse +41-22-749-01-11 phone; +41-22-733-34-30 facsimile [email protected]; http://www/iso.org/iso/home.htm
  • National Information Standards Organization (NISO) 4733 Bethesda Avenue Suite 300 Bethesda, MD. 20814 USA 301-654-2512 phone; 301-654-1721 facsimile; http://www.niso.org

Web Addresses for Organizations

General Literature and References (Alphabetical)

  • Arney J. and Pollmeier K., "Edge Reflection Analysis: A New Technique for the Documentation and Characterization of Photographic and Other Glossy Surfaces." Works of Art on Paper: Books, Documents and Photographs, contributions to the Baltimore Congress, 2-6 September 2002, London, 2002, pp. 160-164.
  • Barger S., Messier R., White W., “A Physical Model for the Daguerreotype”, Photographic Science and Engineering, Vol. 26, no. 6, Nov./Dec. 1982, pp. 285-291.
  • Barger S., Smith D., White W., “Characterization of corrosion products on old protective glass, especially daguerreotype cover glasses”, Journal of Materials Science, no 24, 1989, pp. 1343-1356.
  • Bauer K., Gros L. and Sauer W., Thin-Layer Chromatography: An introduction. Huthig Buch Verlag, Heidelberg, 1991
  • Bouchard M., Smith D.C., Catalogue of 45 reference Raman spectra of minerals concerning research in art history or archaeology, especially on corroded metals and coloured glass, Spectrochimica Acta Part A 59, 2003, pp. 2247-2266.
  • Buzit Tragny, C., The Use of Ultraviolet-Induced Visible Fluorescence for Examining of Photographs, George Eastman House, Advanced Residence Program, 2005.
  • Centeno S. et all, The daguerreotype surface as a SERS substrate: characterization of image deterioration in plates from the 19th century studio of Southworth & Hawes, Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, no 39, 2008, pp. 914-921.
  • Coupry C., Lautié A. et Perkinson R., "Les papiers bleus: indentification des colorants", Techne, La couleur et ses pigments, no 4, 1996, pp. 99-107.
  • Daffner, L-A, Kushel, D., Messinger, J.M., "Investigation of a surface tarnish found on 19th century daguerreotypes", Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 35 (1996): 9-21, 1996.
  • Derrick M., Landry J. and Stulik D., „Infrared Spectroscopy in Conservation Science”, The Getty Conservation Institute, L.A., 1999.
  • Doménech-Carbó M-T. et all, "Identification of Synthetic Resins Used in Works of Art by Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy", Applied Spectroscopy 55, no. 12, 2001, pp. 1590-1602.
  • Eastman Kodak.
    • M-27, "Ultraviolet and fluorescence photography", 1968
    • M-28, Applied Infrared Photography, 1972
    • P-2, Photography through the Microscope, ninth ed. 1988
    • "Scientific Imaging Products Catalog", 1989
    • "Photographic Filters Handbook", Directory of Kodak Filters, 1990
  • Frey, F., Gschwind, R., "Electronic Imaging, a Tool for the Reconstruction of Faded Colour Photographs.", The Journal of IS&T, Volume 38, no 6, pp. 520-525”, 1994.
  • Feller R., Stolow N. and Jones E., On Picture Varnishes and Their Solvents, first ed. 1959, revised and enlarged edition, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985.
  • Grieten, E., "Surprise, Surprise … Technical Analysis of Photographs in the Alfred Stieglitz Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago", in: Topics in Photographic Preservation, vol. 13, 2009, pp. 110-125”, 2009.
  • Hill J. and Striegel M., "Thin-Layer Chromatography for Binding Analysis”, Scientific Tools for Conservation, The Getty Conservation Institute, L.A., 1996.
  • Jungreis E., Spot Test Analysis : Clinical, Environmental, Forensic, and Geochemical Applications, 2nd ed, New York, 1997.
  • Keijzer de M., "The history of Modern Synthetic Inorganic and Organic Artists Pigments". Contributions to Conservation, Research in Conservation at the Netherlands ICN, ed. Mosk J. and Tennant N., James & James, London, 2002, pp. 42-54.
  • Kennedy N., "The reticulation of gelatine: observations on the direct carbon process", Conference Papers, Care of Photographic Moving Image & Sound Collections, 20-24 July 1998, York, England, ed. By Susan Clark, IPC, Leigh Lodge, 1999, pp. 102-108.
  • Koenig Jack, Spectroscopy of Polymers, New York, Used in Works of Art by Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, 1999.
  • McGlinchey C. and Maines C., "Chemistry and Analysis of Coating Materials." Coatings on Photographs, Materials, Techniques, and Conservation, ed. McCabe Constance, AIC PMG, Washington DC, 2005.
  • Mills J. and White R., The Organic Chemistry of Museum Objects, ed. Rees-Johnson S., Butterworths London, 1986.
  • Murphy, E., "XRF Identification of 20th Century Developer-Incorporated Stabilized Prints". Topics in Photographic Preservation, vol. 13, 2009, pp. 100-109”, 2009.
  • Neevel, H., “Optimisation of the micro-destructive light fastness tester, the ‘m-Fado’”, ICN, 2007.
  • Odegaard N., Carroll S. and Zimmt W., Material Characterisation Tests for Objects of Art and Archeology, 2nd ed., London, 2005.
  • Ravines, P., Wichern, C., Chen, J.J., "Optical and Surface Metrology to Study Cultural Heritage: Confocal Topometry Applied to the Surface Study of Photographic Images". Art 2008 9th International Conference on Non-destructive Investigation and Microanalysis for the Diagnostic and Conservation of Cultural and Environmental Heritage, Jerusalem, Israel: ISAS International Seminars, 2008
  • Ravines, P. et all, "Optical and surface metrology applied to daguerreotypes". Conservation Science 2007: Papers from the conference held in Milan, Italy 24-26 May 2007. London, Archetype publications, pp.131-139.
  • Ravines P. et all, "The use of Gel Electrophoresis and Immunological Techniques in the Analysis of Gum Arabic." Works of Art on Paper: Books, Documents and Photographs, contributions to the Baltimore Congress, 2-6 September 2002, London, 2002, pp. 171-175.
  • Rochow T. and Tucker P., Introduction to Microscopy by Means of Light, Electrons, X-rays, or Acoustics, 2nd ed., New York, 1994.
  • Schaeffer, T., Effects of Light on Materials in Collections, Data on Photoflash and Related Sources, Research in Conservation, The Getty Conservation Institute, 2001.
  • Sherma J and Fried B. editors, “Handbook of Thin-Layer Chromatography”, Vol. 55, Marcel Dekker Inc., New York, 1991.
  • Stulik D. and all., “Investigation of Jean-Louis-Marie-Eugene Durieu’s Toning and Varnishing Experiments: A Non-destructive Approach”, 13th Triennial Meeting Rio de Janeiro, 22-27 September 2002, London, 2002, pp. 658-663.
  • Walls, J.M., Methods of surface analysis, Cambridge University Press, 1989.
  • Weaver, G., Long Z., "Chromogenic Characterization: A Study of Kodak Colour Prints, 1942-2008". Topics in Photographic Preservation, vol. 13, 2009, pp. 67-82”, 2009.
  • Wei, W., De Tagle, A and Hummelen, I., "Three dimensional documentation of 'two dimensional' works of Art". Proceedings 17th International Conference Photonics in Europe: Optical Methods for Arts and Archaeology. Munich, Germany: SPIE, 12-16 June, 2005.
  • White R., "The Characterization of Proteinaceous Binders in Art Objects." National Gallery Technical Bulletin, 8, 1984, pp. 5-14.
  • Wicks Z., Jones F. and Pappas P., Organic Coatings: Science and Technology, 2nd ed., New York, 1999.
  • Williams D. and Fairbrass S., “Laser Surface Profilometry in Materials Conservation”, ICOM Committee for Conservation 1996, Vol. II, pp. 978-980.

Bibliography of Molecular/Vibrational Spectroscopy in Photograph Conservation

Basic:
  • F. Casadio and L. Toniolo (2001) “The Analysis of Polychrome Works of Art: 40 Years of Infrared Spectroscopic Investigations.” Journal of Cultural Heritage, vol. 2, pp. 71-78.
  • M. Derrick, D. C. Stulik, and J. Landry (1999) Infrared Spectroscopy in Conservation Science, Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles.
  • C. McGlinchey and C. Maines (2006) “Chemistry and Analysis of Coating Materials.” In Coatings on Photographs, C. McCabe, ed. AIC: Washington, pp. 23-47.
  • G. Smith and R. Clark (2001) “Raman Microscopy in Art History and Conservation.” Reviews in Conservation, vol. 2, pp. 92-106.
Photograph Conservation:
  • B. N. Brown, D. C. Stulik, and H. Khanjian (2005) “Four metallic photographic prints from the Harry Ransom Center collection.” Topics in Photographic Preservation, vol. 11, pp. 57-72.
  • S. A. Centeno, T. Meller , N. Kennedy , and M. Wypyski (2008) “The Daguerreotype Surface as a SERS Substrate: Characterization of Image Deterioration in Plates from the 19th Century Studio of Southworth & Hawes.” Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, vol. 39, pp. 914-921.
  • A. Chipman, J. N. Weber, and J. L. Mass (2011) “Inexcusable But Appropriate: The Technical Analysis of Hand-Painted Tintypes from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation Collections”. Topics in Photographic Preservation, vol. 14 pp. 168-185.
  • J. L. DesChamps (2001) “Vernis cuir: the history and use of a nineteenth-century coating for photographs.” In Papers Presented at the 27th Annual Conference of the Association of North American Graduate Programs in Conservation: April 19-21, 2001: student papers. University of Delaware Art Conservation Program, pp. 77-96.
  • G. Di Pietro, P.J. Mahon, D.C. Creagh, and M.Newnham (2005) “The Identification of Photographic Dyes in Cultural Materials Using Raman Spectroscopy.” Art 2005, pp. ???
  • E. Grieten (2009) “Surprise, Surprise… Technical Analysis of Photographs in the Alfred Stieglitz Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago.” Topics in Photographic Preservation, vol. 13, pp. 110-126.
  • V. V. Golovlev, M. Gresalfi, J. C. Miller, D. Anglos, K. Melesanaki, V. Zafiropulos, G. Romer, and P. Messier (2001) “Laser Analysis and Cleaning of Nineteenth Century Daguerreotypes.” In Lasers in the Conservation of Artworks: LACONA IV, ICOM, Paris, pp. 111-114.
  • V. V. Golovlev, M. Gresalfi, J. C. Miller, G. Romer, and P. Messier (2000) “Laser Characterization and Cleaning of Nineteenth Century Daguerreotypes.” Journal of Cultural Heritage, vol. 1, pp. S139-S144.
  • M. Harnly, M. Salazar, and D. Stulik (2006) “Coatings on the Photographic Prints of Gustave Le Gray” in Coatings on Photographs, C. McCabe, ed. AIC: Washington, pp. 288-299.
  • R. Ploeger, D. Scalorone, and O. Chiantore (2010) “Non-invasive Characterisation of Binding Media on Painted Glass Magic Lantern Plates Using Mid-infrared Fibre-Optic Reflectance Spectroscopy.” Journal of Cultural Heritage, vol. 11, pp. 35-41.
  • R. Stenman (2011) “Initial Investigation Into Orotone Photographs”. Topics in Photographic Preservation, vol. 14 pp. 263-281.
  • D. Stulik, H. Khanjian, A. de Tagle, and A. Botelho (2002) “Investigation of Jean-Louis-Marie-Eugene Durieu’s Toning and Varnishing Experiments: A Non-Destructive Approach” ICOM 13th Triennial Meeting Rio de Janeiro, vol. II, pp.658-663.
  • D. Viars (2002) “Analyse et Conservation-Restauration des Négatifs au Gélatino-Bromure d'Argent Vernis sur Plaque de Verre Présentant un Soulèvement de l'Image.” Support Tracé, vol. 2, pp. 33-39.
  • B. Walsh (1993) “Identification of cellulose nitrate and acetate negatives by FTIR spectroscopy.” Topics in Photographic Preservation, vol. 5, pp. 80-97.

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