In August 2013 the GCI released the first installment of The Atlas of Analytical Signatures of Photographic Processes. Available online, the Atlas currently provides detailed scientific information on eleven of the most common and important traditional black-and-white chemical photographic processes and process variants (there are about fifty). The publication can be accessed free of charge at www.getty. edu/conservation/atlas.
Photograph conservators, art historians, archivists, library professionals, and others responsible for the care and preservation of photograph collections will find important information and tools for the identification of photographic processes in the Atlas. In addition to serving as a significant resource for the analysis of photographs, the Atlas captures and reassembles critical information regarding these historic processes—information at great risk of being lost in these waning days of chemical photography.
The Atlas is a product of a decade-long GCI project to develop innovative research methodologies for scientific analysis and identification of more than 150 different photographic processes (and process variants) that were invented, advanced, and sometimes forgotten during the nearly two centuries of the chemical photography era. Future installments will include additional photographic processes, as well as new information about processes already covered. The aim of GCI scientists is to make the Atlas a comprehensive reference of well-researched, experimentally tested, and objective data on chemical photographic processes and important process variants.