According to the Northeast Document Conservation Centre (NEDCC), the goal of conservation treatment is “to stabilize the item in the collection so that it survives over the long term and is available for use, while at the same time changing its physical characteristics as little as possible.”
Ideally, repairs will remain visible to some degree so as not to suggest that the item was never damaged. It is important to remember that the damage is part of the story of the record but conservation treatment ensures that the damage does not get any worse.
In order to stabilize the photographs and make them safe to handle, we engaged Sarah Duffy, a paper conservator from Fraser/Spafford Ricci Art & Archival Conservation Inc.
The panoramas were photographed and examined under raking light, which is very bright light that helps to reveal the extent of any damage. The photographs showed severe deformations, cracks and splits, as well as delamination and loss in the emulsion layer.