This post was written by Sara Belasco, Enhanced Conservation Work Experience conservation assistant.
For the last six months, I have been working on rehousing a collection of cased images in the Library collection. Almost all of these photographs are ambrotypes, one of the earliest photographic processes on glass plates popular in the 1850s. The collection was previously rehoused in 1990, but the housing does not adequately protect the images and they are difficult to sort through in the box.
The new housing I am making cushions these fragile photographs with fine-celled foam. Also, all of the enclosures are a standard width and height, ensuring that they fit uniformly and securely into the box. The identification number for each image is written on top of the enclosure to make the images more easily searchable for researchers.