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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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 Conservation Center

Preserving photographs within the museum’s collection is one of the many tasks performed by the Registration Department. Learning and staying updated on current preservation techniques helps me with that task.


On July 25, I attended a workshop in the Museum’s classrooms cohosted by the Museum titled Preserving Your Photographic Collections. It was presented by the Conservation Center for Arts and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) as part of their Collection Care Training Programs.  This program was graciously funded by the William Penn Foundation, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Independence Foundation, and Sovereign Bank.  This is the fourth time NMAJH hosted a CCAHA Collections Care Training program.


Conservation 2 Forty people traveled to NMAJH and participated in this intimate workshop led by Rachel Wetzel who is the Photographic Conservator at CCAHA. Participants came from a wide range of institutions such as small historical societies to larger museums from all across the country. One attendant traveled all the way from Colorado! All came eager to learn how to properly house, care for, and store their photographic collections.


While learning about photography can certainly take more than one workshop, Wetzel described the history of photography, specific terminology, proper handling, and safe long-term storage of photographs, slides, and negatives. Examples of the different types of storage containers and materials were on hand for everyone to see and ask questions.    


More information on the CCAHA’s Collection Care Training programs can be found on their website 


-Contributed by Sasha Makuka

Assistant Registrar

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