Beginning in 1987, the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) offered a series of courses on the conservation and preventive care of photographic materials, especially historic photographs and negatives. Designed for curators, conservators, archivists, and others responsible for collections of historic photographs, the courses included approaches to storage, negative duplication, exhibitions, and disaster planning, as well as practical sessions on the identification of major historical photographic processes. Other components of the course included the examination of deterioration problems; identification of photographic prints and negatives in need of treatment; and treatment and storage options.
Follow-up courses focused on the structure and composition of photographic materials; identifying specific color photographic processes and their characteristic deterioration problems and preservation alternatives; the environmental and storage issues affecting the stability of photographic materials; the stability of silver images; care of photographic materials; and the survey and establishment of long-term preservation plans for collections, including disaster recovery plans.
Presently, GCI's work on the conservation of photographs is reflected in: