Topics in Photographic Preservation 2011, Volume 14, Article 26 (pp. 160-161)

Advancements in Image-Based Condition Reporting for Daguerreotypes: Optimizing Microscopy to Accompany High Resolution Images, and Sharing Them in the Daguerreotype Research Portal

Ralph Wiegandt and Alice Carver-Kubik

Presented at the 2011 PMG Winter Meeting in Ottawa, Canada

George Eastman House Kay R. Whitmore Conservation Center has continued to advance light microscopy methods to document and characterize features and condition of daguerreotypes. The emerging concern of photonic interactions as a deterioration threat for the daguerreotype has resulted in low light level microscopy techniques and innovative characterization methods for condition monitoring. Senior Project Conservator Ralph Wiegandt will describe and demonstrate the illumination techniques and descriptive imaging microscopy being carried out at George Eastman House.

This joint paper will also introduce the Daguerreotype Research Portal, a web-based resource for daguerreotype condition and research information. The Portal displays high resolution images with descriptive annotations of condition features and daguerreotype plate characteristics. This image-based Web resource was developed through the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in collaboration with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and George Eastman House. While initially dedicated to the collections of Southworth & Hawes daguerreotypes held within the three museums, the funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a conservation documentation pilot project required that the end product be Web accessible to the world for sharing scholarly research and conservation data. Alice Carver-Kubik, Research Associate at George Eastman House, will demonstrate the Portal and describe its condition annotation features, and present the work of many in the development of the Research Portal. Although its mission is to disseminate highly credible information about daguerreotypes overall, its initial emphasis has been to capture condition and physical features and characteristics through annotated images. It is a flexible and adaptable resource for a multitude of uses, and through its search engines and open contributions of merit, it can evolve to provide technical details and information across the world of daguerreotypes through images, keywords, and sophisticated lexigraphical searches.


Senior Project Conservator and

George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Film


Conservation Project Research Associate

George Eastman House International Museum of Photography & Film

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