The Library is celebrating Preservation Week with a talk about the conservation of our daguerreotypes on Friday, May 1 at 2 p.m. in the Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab at the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library. The talk, “Finding a Balance: Conservation of the Cased Images from the John Hay Library,” will be given by Monique C. Fischer, Senior Photograph Conservator, and Amanda A. Maloney, Assistant Photograph and Paper Conservator, from the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC).
Cased images differ significantly from other conventional forms of paper-based photography and present their own challenges when it comes to conservation. This talk will include discussion of three varieties of daguerreotype: those that can be distinguished by their metallic composition–a thin copper plate with a highly polished silver surface; and other, less expensive wet collodion alternatives: the ambrotype on a glass support and tintype on a jappaned iron support. Even in the 19th century these photographic materials were vulnerable to marring, abrasion, breakage, tarnish, rust, and corrosion. As a result, decoratively covered wood or ornamental, molded thermoplastic cases were constructed to protect these fragile images.
Conservation of these cased images is complicated. One must consider not just the photographic image but also leather, wood, plastic, cloth, metal, glass, and varnish. Conservation and preservation must strike a balance between the photographic image and its traditional housing.
Using examples of cased images from the John Hay Library Collections, Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, Lovell Family Papers, Hay Family Images, and University Archives, Fischer and Maloney will discuss the history, craft, deterioration, and conservation of these complicated, diverse, and interesting objects.
Monique C. Fischer, Senior Photograph Conservator at NEDCC
Monique Fischer has specialized in the conservation of photographic materials since 1994. In collaboration with the Image Permanence Institute, she was awarded a Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1997 for the development of A-D Strips, a tool that detects deterioration in acetate film. Monique lectures extensively on photograph conservation in the U.S. and abroad and has been awarded two fellowships by the J. Paul Getty Trust to investigate the longevity of digital output media. She is a Fellow of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC). Monique received a B.A. in Chemistry from Smith College, and an M.S. in Art Conservation with a concentration in Photographic Materials from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program.
Amanda A. Maloney, Assistant Photograph and Paper Conservator at NEDCC
Amanda Maloney has worked in the field of photograph conservation since 2011. She received master’s degrees from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation and the program for Photographic Preservation and Collections Management at Ryerson University/George Eastman House. She gained experience working with photographic materials as a conservator at The Better Image®. She has also completed conservation internships at The Sherman Fairchild Photograph Conservation Laboratory at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at the Fotorestauratie Atelier of Clara von Waldthausen (Amsterdam). In addition to treatment, Amanda has participated in surveys, research, and workshops on the preservation of photographic materials. She is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).
Date: Friday, May 1, 2015
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Patric Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence