The Fascinating Process of Preserving a 200-Year-Old Photograph

It is easy to take for granted how easy it is to preserve our images these days; after all, we can create multiple copies of our photos in multiple locations with just a few clicks of the mouse. It was not always so easy, and as this great video shows, the process of preserving historical photographs can be incredibly delicate and require a highly skilled hand. Check out this great video to see the process in action.

Coming to you from The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, this fascinating video shows the process of restoring and preserving an almost 200-year-old photograph. It is a double daguerreotype from 1842 featuring the Arch of Septimius Severus and Capitoline Lion in the Roman Forum. The daguerreotype is one of the oldest objects in the museum's collection, and it is slowly being lost to tarnish, meaning the team needs to carefully clean the fragile piece — a photo so delicate that even mildly aggressive scrubbing can literally wipe the image away. Cleaning the image requires an incredible combination of skill, chemistry, and patience. It is absolutely fascinating to watch and learn about; check out the video above to see the process in action. 

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1 Comment

Jeff Colburn's picture

Amazing. I've had access to old material in museums (photos, books, document, etc.) and the conservation process is both an are and a science.