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Subject: Deterioration of photographic negatives

Deterioration of photographic negatives

From: Juliette Baxter <jbaxter>
Date: Monday, October 8, 2007
We have a large collection of cellulosic photographic negatives from
a construction company (dates not known but likely to be 1930s
onwards). Sections of the collection are showing signs of
deterioration--distortion, bubbling of the emulsion, adhering to
glassine sleeves. This only seems to be happening in one section of
the collection and the archivist who accessioned the collection is
not sure whether they looked like this when they arrived or whether
it has happened in the 6 or 7 years since they entered our building.
Is this degree of degradation possible in 6 or 7 years (they are not
stored in a photographic store but in the archival store) or is the
cause likely to be a previous home?

Also the sheer quantity will mean that we are not able to deal with
the problem--are there any reliable imaging services in the UK that
would be able to create surrogates before the problem gets any
worse?

Juliette Baxter


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                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:27
                Distributed: Saturday, October 20, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-21-27-029
                                  ***
Received on Monday, 8 October, 2007

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