Rescuing really old prints
Going through stuff at my grandparents house, we found a couple prints that my grandfather had made probably in the late 1920's (never knew he printed, but my grandmother says it's true). Unfortunately they're rolled up, and trying to unroll them breaks the emulsion. I'd like to save them, and my thoughts are to soak them in either photo-flo or a print flattener, then perhaps a bath in Sistan.
No idea what kind of paper it is, but it's definitely fiber (reckon there wasn't anything else at the time), and they seem to be fixed properly (unlike some of my early prints, there is no sign of browning).
Any thoughts or suggestions from the experts out there?
i have a bunch of olde banquet camera prints from when my grandfather was in ww1&2, i know what you are talking about. a friend who works at a museum told me a little bit of what might help. you will need to make a humidity chamber - kind of like a giant trashcan filled with water, and have your prints not in the water, but suspended in the air above the water. once your prints get humid enough, they will unroll a little bit, and then a little bit more, and then a little bit more.
the folks at the northeast document conservation center
will probably be able to tell you what would work best.
Thanks for the info and the link. Looks like I have another summer project.
i am glad i could help ...
Another question about the same issue. I have bought a portfolio of an long dead Dutch photographer. The images are fotogravure prints I think. The paper has turned yellow, so I guess it's not acid free. But until now the paper and photographs are fine. I really like these prints and want to protect them from deterioration. Is there a way in which I can de-acidify them myself?
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you might want to send the same folks an email.
they deal with this sort of thing all the time.
what they might suggest is to make copy negatives using a filter. filtration will help get rid of the stain in the print when re-photographing.
mabe kent ( an appugger here who might have experience in this sort of thing) will add his expertise to this thread ...