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Subject: Albumen prints

Albumen prints

From: Gwenola Furic <gwenolafuric>
Date: Thursday, October 2, 2003
Becky Cameron <becky_ann_cameron [at] hotmail__com> writes

>I am currently preparing a treatment proposal for some albumen
>prints. They have been adhered all over to poor quality paper (which
>is not contemporary to them) and are creased from being unevenly
>adhered. They would benefit from being removed from the backing
>paper but they will likely curl, so I am currently thinking of
>remounting them onto Japanese tissue of similar weight to the
>prints.  Could anyone suggest an alternative that they think would
>be preferable?

In France, we usually remount the albumen prints in a way that we
call "montage evide" (scooped out mounting). A piece of permanent
paper (around 250-300 g/m2) is scooped out according to the size of
the photograph (plus a few mm, approximately). The photograph is
fixed to this window from the back, with strips of light Japanese
paper (9 g/m2 usually), using Klucel G in ethanol (8%). Klucel G
doesn't provide water, so the albumen prints edge stay flat. You
have to work fast because it evaporates quickly. Just be careful if
you have some pencil annotations or stamps that can bleed with

The mounting (paper plus photograph) is then fixed in a window mat,
along one edge of the paper with a Japanese paper, or a conservation
tape. Here, you can make the window larger than the photograph, so
that you can see the entire photograph (the mounting has to be
perfect then) ; you can also make the window smaller if you don't
want to see the edge of the photograph.

I find this kind of mounting less intrusive than lining (unless you
have to line the photograph because it is in such a poor state for
example). I think also it takes you less time to do it. The result
is nice, and you can easily open the mounting and see the back of
the photograph. You can also easily dismount the scooped out
mounting from its window mat, for example after an exhibition if you
don't want to store it in the mounting (if you don't have a lot of
storage space). And also this kind of mounting is easily reversible,
because Klucel G is not as strong as methylcellulose or starch.

Gwenola Furic
Private photography conservator
4 bis, rue de Vincennes

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:32
                  Distributed: Monday, October 6, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-17-32-003
Received on Thursday, 2 October, 2003

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