EFFECTS OF AQUEOUS TREATMENT ON ALBUMEN PHOTOGRAPHS
PAUL MESSIER, & TIMOTHY VITALE
ABSTRACT—Research was carried out to assess the current conservation practice of the aqueous surface cleaning and the unmounting and washing of albumen photographs, techniques adapted from paper conservation and photographic processing. In this study, 10 mounted and 10 never-mounted albumen photographs were both surface cleaned with and immersed in aqueous solutions, and the photographs measured before and after treatment for print color, gloss, and nature of albumen cracking. The measurements were carried out using a spectrocolorimeter, a glossmeter, and photomicrographs. The results of the study show that aqueous treatment, be it surface cleaning or immersion, does nothing to improve the discoloration of the image, while it does increase the cracking of the albumen layer and decrease the surface gloss.
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