ambrotype case storage

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    • #132704
      Ronald Heroux
      Participant

      During today’s webinar someone asked about a way to store ambrotypes in cases as well as mark the accession number.  One thing I found useful is the archival plastic sleeves used for post cards.  They come in (at least) two basic sizes.  You can slide the ambrotype case into one and either affix an identifying tag or write on the sleeve itself.  Being clear, you can still readily see what’s in the sleeve.  This can work for daguerreotypes, too.

      FWIW

    • #132709
      Susan Knoer
      Member

      For storing more than one at a time, I’ve used microfilm boxes,  and made overlapping boxes like rare book boxes to hold larger sizes.   Boxes make them easy to see the accession number in storage, and easier to put into larger boxes, too.   I’ve used tags for accession numbers on cases, but taken them off the heavy string and used a thin cotton or linen string that won’t deform the case when closed.

    • #132708

      Ronald and Susan, I agree with your suggestions re: enclosures. I think that to give more protection and surface for labels and accession numbers (or additional information) is better to use boxes rather than to write on the artifact itself. You can write with pencil, pen, or sharpie. You can always  change the box and rewrite the information, if it is necessary. Also, for ambrotypes and many photographic processes the idea of “box inside box inside box” is the best to protect the objects against grime, dirt, pollutants, light exposure, T & RH fluctuations and direct handling. The more barriers you have from ambient environment the better, but this option can be both expensive and time consuming. It also depend in the value of the material and how often is used and/or handled.

       

    • #132707
      Kathie Gow
      Participant

      Ronald, Susan and others with ambrotypes — we are trying to get a finer date for a framed ambrotype of our town’s Congregational Church. Using the “Caring for Photos” webinar and a very useful book I just started reading (“Family Photo Detective” by Maureen Taylor), I’ve been able to date it to within 16 years (1852-1868), and the photographer’s stamp is on the back (S. Bigelow), but I’m wondering if there are any other clues under the backing board, or on the back of the ambrotype. For instance, if there was a tax revenue stamp (1864-1866), would they ever put it on the back of the ambrotype itself? I’m guessing, with the photographer’s stamp on the cardboard or paper backing, probably not. My question is, should I not take the risk of introducing any outside contaminents by opening it up, or not getting it back together again, and leave well enough alone? (I have photos of the front and the back in a blog I posted last night, URL below, if anyone has suggestions.) Thanks!

      blog post address:

      http://hatfieldhistory.weebly.com/1/post/2013/05/how-to-id-those-mystery-photos.html

       

    • #132706
      Ronald Heroux
      Participant

      From what I’ve read ambrotypes weren’t really invented until about 1854 and lost popularity in the early 1860s, so you can reduce your time period by a few years that way.  Generally I avoid tinkering with old, delicate photos like yours for fear of inadvertently damaging them, and rely on research for the most accurate dating.

      FWIW

    • #132705
      Kathie Gow
      Participant

      Thanks, Ron. For the purposes of the inventory, it makes perfect sense to go with the most likely time period — when ambrotypes were most popular, and that will basically narrow it down to a decade (circa 1854-1864). Beyond that — when there’s time — we can pursue research on when and where the photographer worked, as well as see if there are any records that show when the fence was installed or removed.

      And about opening the frame — that was my fear and inclination as well. I think I’ll leave it be.

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