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Karissa Murator (UD 2017, WUDPAC 2020) consults with photo conservator Debra Hess Norris during the Photographic Materials Block.
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Photograph conservation internships are offered at the undergraduate level in a laboratory located in Old College on the University of Delaware's Newark campus. Graduate students majoring in photographic materials work on photographic materials in the Paper Conservation Laboratory at Winterthur.
In the first-year photograph conservation block, students study daguerreotypes, tintypes, albumen and silver gelatin prints, glass-plate and film-base negatives, electronic media, storage and handling practices, and stabilization treatments, including surface cleaning, tear mending, and consolidation. The preservation of photographic documentation is also emphasized.
Second-year students majoring in photograph conservation work on a variety of examination, documentation, treatment, and preventive care projects. Students examine and treat photographic materials from the University of Delaware collections, Winterthur archives, and other local and private collections. Recent projects include a wide range of platinum and gum bichromate prints by Gertude Käsebier; small wet-plate collodion images incorporated into an early motion picture device; mold-damaged 19th -century portrait photographs; and a privately-owned photographic album of the Beatles dated 1961-63. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking, preventive conservation, advocacy, and developing skills in documentation and treatment, especially surface cleaning, consolidation, attachment and mount removal, and compensation for loss. Single item, mass treatment, and preventive care approaches are pursued.
Master's-level photograph conservation majors are supervised by Debra Hess Norris, and Barbara Lemmen.