Published: April 23, 2018

Throughout our series, 100 Stories for 100 Years from the CU Boulder Archives, you have seen a lot of photos from our collections, but not all of the photos in our collections are in such great condition. Due to chemical processes and variables outside of our control, some styles of creating photographs just don't hold up over time. The Department of Special Collections, Archives and Preservation (SCAP) work together to repair and prolong the life of our collections. Specifically, the Preservation Unit provides internediate and advanced conservation treatments that include a wide range of repairs, archival enclosures of all types, connservation matting and assessment. We also work collaboratively with the Libraries Digital Media Lab, to digitize photos that are vulnerable due to their chemical structures, such as the nitrate photos from the Charles Snow collection.

In honor of Preservation Week, here are just a few examples of issues we have come across working with some of our turn of the century photographs:

A photo that is disintegrating with age due to its chemical qualities.

A large negative that will be digitized after being cleaned and restored a bit by preservation.An old photo that needs preservation's help

A photo from CU Boulder Archives that is receiving some TLC from Preservation

Stop by our Preservation Table in Norlin to learn more about how photographs should be properly stored and care for so that your own collection may last for generations!

100 Stories for 100 YearsThe University of Colorado Boulder Libraries will celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Archives on June 6, 2018. This is story #56 in our series: 100 Stories for 100 Years from the Archives!