British library

Preserving Historic Photographs with Susie Clark

Ref: L1D10033

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About this course

Photographs are found in museums, libraries and archives all over the world and their care can present special challenges. This course is aimed at those responsible for their care. You will learn how to identify the common photographic processes, recognise potential conservation problems and solutions and prioritise care accordingly. The environmental, storage and wider preservation requirements of photographs will be covered, including how these might relate to digitisation projects. Examples of the common processes will be shown and discussed as part of the course. Samples of storage materials and enclosures will be given to participants. Handouts will be included. The course is led by Susie Clark ACR ICON, an accredited and experienced photographic conservator. Susie has given many courses in a variety of regional and national institutions in many countries and is used to providing practical help and advice.

Course Description

The day will begin with a session on the history and identification of photographic processes, during which there will be the opportunity to handle examples. Subsequent sessions will cover conservation problems and solutions for individual processes or groups of processes as appropriate. These sessions will include examination of practical examples. The rest of the day will address preservation issues for photographic collections including environmental and storage requirements. This will include demonstrations.

At the end of the course, you will have a concise knowledge of how to identify common photographic processes and be able to recognise conservation problems and prioritise and address them. You will know the environmental and storage requirements and the wider preservation issues, which are specific to photographic collections.   

The course is held at the British Library, the national library of the United Kingdom and the second largest library in the world. British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB.


Timetable for one day courses.

Students should arrive by 9.30am for registration.

Classes are from 9.30 - 4.30pm.

Lunch can be purchased from the nearby British Library Terrace Restaurant.

"Our tutor was brilliant, she made the course relatable and understandable. The resources were well chosen and the information I received means I am well informed on current practices, as well as aware of how standardisation can change."

Carys, 2019


Susie Clark

Susie is an accredited paper and photographic conservator with many years of experience. She was formerly the conservator for a collection of approximately 20 million photographs at the BBC Hulton Picture Library (now Getty Images). Since 1990, she has been a freelance paper and photograph conservator and consultant, working throughout Britain and abroad on public and private collections.

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