Topics in Photographic Preservation 2011, Volume 14, Article 2 (pp. 3)

Tip: Burnished Scratches Reduction on Some Silver Gelatin Photographs

Elena Bulat

Presented at the 2011 PMG Winter Meeting in Ottawa, Canada

Some photographic papers from the beginning of 20 century have a very velvet like surface. It is very common when the surface gets scratched or burnished.

The problem: A photograph from Houghton Library had burnished scratches on the surface that were very destructive. This photograph was chosen for an exhibition.

The treatment process: A basic treatment helped to reduce the scratches. A very fine pointed cotton swab was dipped in deionized water, blotted against a piece of blotter and quickly and lightly touched to the burnished areas, millimeter by millimeter. This helped to refresh soft surface of the photograph. This was repeated several time s until desirable effect.

Results and conclusion: The burnished scratches were reduced greatly. You could still see the scar from them, but they were not visually disturbing any more. This method was tried with burnished scratches on the photographs with harder surface and it did not work.


Figure 7 BT


Figure 8 AT

Papers presented in Topics in Photographic Preservation, Volume Fourteen have not undergone a formal process of peer review.