ECS offers a comprehensive approach to the preservation and conservation of a variety of photographic materials through the collaboration of specialized conservators. Materials such as B&W silver gelatin and chromogenic prints, oversized panoramic or mural photographs, and photographic albums and scrapbooks can be treated at our North Carolina facility. Treatment options are determined based upon a thorough examination of the object, evaluation of its intended use, and how it will be stored. Preservation of the object may involve basic stabilization or rehousing options. Conservation treatments may include surface cleaning, tape and adhesive removal, separation from damaged mounts, mending tears, and consolidation of flaking emulsion. ECS also offers digitization and facsimile reproduction services.

Our treatment expertise encompasses knowledge of traditional techniques as well as the latest procedures and materials tested and approved for the conservation of photographic materials. Treatments are performed following the American Institute for Conservation’s (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice. Materials used meet the required Photographic Activity Test (PAT) for image stability and are reversible. Our treatments are designed to take the least invasive approach in order to maintain the integrity of the photographic image. All treatments are documented with written and photographic records. Written documentation is automatically provided to the client and photo documentation can be provided upon request.

ECS also offers collection surveys designed to determine the condition of the materials, provide sound preservation storage recommendations, preventative conservation strategies, and treatment priorities.

Treatment Options for Photographic Materials may include:

  • mold removal
  • surface cleaning
  • stain reduction (only if possible and safe to do so)
  • tape and adhesive removal
  • separation from poor quality mounts
  • consolidation of cracked or flaking emulsion
  • mending tears or breaks
  • case repair of cased photographs
  • rehousing options
  • four-flap enclosures
  • clamshell boxes
  • polyester sleeves
  • encapsulation
  • conservation framing

Photograph Conservation Gallery

Photograph Conservation Gallery

(Click image to view slideshow)