Preserving Tintype Images

In the United States, tintype images were very popular during the Civil War, as well as, into the early 20th century. There are three main factors of deterioration that affect tintypes: improper handling, corrosion from high humidity or exposure to moisture, and light damage so the overall goal is to keep it in a dry and dark storage environment. While we advise contacting a photographic materials conservator for more advanced damage, there are some basic tips for how best to care for these unique documents!

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Labeling Artifacts

One of the most critical aspects to maintaining a large collection is to create an artifact inventory so that you can identify what types of objects are in the collection and other pertinent information (i.e.: donors, storage or display location, artist, etc.). More details about creating an inventory can be found online, but today's post is about how to label artifacts.

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Removing Masking Tape from a Textile

Pressure sensitive tapes are a convenient and easy way to repair a variety of materials, but over time these tapes can degrade and cause damage to the underlying material. Masking tape is a common name that often refers to a paper based backing with a semi-strong adhesive that sticks when applied with pressure. Types of masking tape include household or general purpose masking tape (off white color), painter’s tape (blue or green color), washi tape (various patterns and decorations, often found in craft stores), and drafting tape (less tacky and narrow).

 

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Mounting Textiles for Hanging

Textiles are some of the most expressive forms of cultural heritage that exist in museums and family collections. They are commonly composed of organic materials of individual fibers that are woven together to form a fabric. Some textiles and textile-based artworks can also include inorganic components including metals or composites. The purpose of the textile is important when considering the desired outcome of the treatment. For example, dresses were made to be worn and should therefore not be stored flat as this can create creases and irreversibly damage the fibers. The information provided here relates to basic concepts of mounting textiles for display or storage.  

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