By Bertrand Lavédrine
with Jean-Paul Gandolfo, John McElhone, and Sibylle Monod
Translated by John McElhone

Photographs of the Past

In recent years, interest in old photographs has grown significantly among a broad public, from collectors, conservators, and archivists to amateurs seeking to preserve precious family albums. Although the medium of photography is barely one hundred and fifty years old, its relatively brief history has witnessed the birth of a wide range of photographic processes, each of which poses unique conservation challenges.

This volume provides a comprehensive introduction to the practice of photograph preservation, bringing together more information on photographic processes than any other single source. Introductory chapters cover issues of terminology; the rest of the book is divided into three parts: positives, negatives, and conservation. Each chapter focuses on a single process—daguerreotypes, albumen negatives, black-and-white prints, and so on—providing an overview of its history and materials and tracing the evolution of its technology. This book will serve as an irreplaceable reference work for conservators, curators, collectors, dealers, conservation students, and photographers, as well as those in the general public seeking information on preserving this ubiquitous form of cultural heritage.

Bertrand Lavédrine is director of the Centre de recherche sur la conservation des collections (CRCC), Paris. Jean-Paul Gandolfo teaches at the École nationale supérieure Louis Lumière, Paris. Sibylle Monod oversees research publications at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique, Paris. John P. McElhone is photograph conservator at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

Getty Conservation Institute publications can be ordered online or by calling 800-223-3431 (United States) or 310-440-7333 (international).