Treatment of Carbon prints

The State Hermitage Museum, October 5 – 9

Instructor: Diane Tafilowski, Photograph Conservator, Paul Messier Conservation of Photographs and Works on Paper, Boston, USA



Monday, October 5

Topics of the day:

  • Overview of Carbon and Woodburytype processes
  • Identification using microscope, hand held lupes
  • Comparison of Carbon prints and Woodburytypes
  • Overview of problems and treatment options (small PowerPoint w/illustrations)

To prepare:

  • Hermitage study collection,
  • Examples of Carbon prints and Woodburytypes (or suspected) from Hermitage collection (if possible)
  • 10X, 30X loupes, handheld microscopes
  • stationary microscopes available.

Tuesday, October 6 – Thursday, October 8


Problems and topics of practicum:

  • Consolidating cracks
  • Cleaning
  • Flattening
  • Tape or adhesive removal
  • Washing?

Friday, October 9

Wrap up, questions, clean up

Materials List

  • Gelatin solutions (dilute for consolidation, 1.5 – 4%)
  • Acetone, 2% methylcellulose
  • 2% ammonium hydroxide
  • Wheat starch paste
  • Hot plate
  • Tacking irons
  • Small brushes
  • Spatulas for burnishing
  • Dry cleaning materials
  • Blotter, Hollytex and Mylar squares
  • Small weights
  • Please make sure we have some presses available (book press?).

Carbon workshop Reading List

Carbon vs Woodburytypes

Carbon narrative