Finding a Balance: Caring for Cased Images

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One-Hour Lunchtime Webinar: 
From the daguerreotype that can be distinguished by its metallic composition, to the less expensive wet collodion alternatives: the ambrotype on a glass support and tintype on a jappaned iron support, cased images differ significantly from other conventional forms of paper-based photography. Even in the 19th century these photographic materials were vulnerable to marring, abrasion, breakage, tarnish, rust, and corrosion. As a result, cases were constructed from decoratively covered wood or molded thermoplastic to protect these fragile images.

Conservation of these cased images is complicated. Not only is one dealing with a photographic image but also with leather, wood, plastic, cloth, metal, glass, and varnish. As a caretaker, it is important that the conservation and preservation approaches find a balance between the photographic image and its traditional housing.

Using examples of cased images this webinar will discuss the history, craft, deterioration, and conservation of these complicated, diverse and interesting objects.