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Wednesday, May 15 • 4:00pm - 4:30pm
(Photographic Materials) 19th Century Glass Manufacture and Its Relevance to Photographic Glass Stability

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Glass manufacturing advanced hand-in-hand with photographic innovations in the 19th century, which commonly incorporated the use of glass as substrates and/or cover glass in encasements. This paper will focus on results to date from an NEH-funded, collaborative research undertaken by the Library of Congress, George Washington University and the Vitreous State Laboratory of the Catholic University of America that includes: (1) investigation into coincidences of practices and developments in the glass industry and the photographic arts, (2) non-invasive analysis of historical glass found in 19th century photographic materials in several historical photographic collections, and (3) study of artificially aged model glass based on typical formulations found in 19th century photographic glass. Preliminary results illustrate how changes in manufacturing methods, distribution and formulation contributed to the diversity of glass types utilized by 19th century photographers in America and other countries. Examination of historical 19th century photographic materials, primarily by microscopy and X-ray fluorescence (XRF), provides new evidence about unstable glass formulations lurking in historical collections, and expands our understanding of the amount and types of unstable glass that exists in such collections. This has implications for both prioritization and conservation practices applied to photographic collections.

avatar for Lynn Brostoff

Lynn Brostoff

Research Chemist, Library of Congress
Lynn B. Brostoff holds a Masters Degree in Polymer Materials Science and a Ph.D. in Chemistry. In addition, Lynn holds a Masters Degree in Art History and a Certificate of Conservation with emphasis in Paper Conservation. For the last 25 years, Lynn has worked as a conservation scientist... Read More →
avatar for Kate Fogle

Kate Fogle

MA candidate in Photography Preservation & Collections Management, Ryerson University
Kate Fogle is an MA candidate in Photography Preservation and Collections Management at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. During the summer of 2018, Kate served as a Junior Fellow at the Library of Congress, where she conducted research on historical glass as part of the NEH-funded... Read More →

Wednesday May 15, 2019 4:00pm - 4:30pm EDT
Earth Ballroom B Earth Convention Center, Mohegan Sun
  Specialty Session, Photographic Materials