PHOTOGRAPHS AND NEGATIVES
Immediately immerse the photographs in clean, cold water preferably in plastic garbage cans. The water should be at or lower than 22C/72F. 44) Formaldahyde may be added to the water (15 millilitres to 1 litre of water) to help prevent the gelatin swelling and softening, and to deter mould growth.
The materials should be washed in cold, clean water after their removal from the solution. Always keep immersion to a minimum. Prolonged exposure to water will be hazardous for the materials.
If wet photographic materials are in envelopes, immerse in water and formaldehyde. Remove the prints/negatives from the envelopes and wash in cold running water for 15 minutes. These items will later have to be processed in special hardening and finishing solutions. 46)
Rinse photographs in clean water if they are covered in dirt.
Lie photographs flat, face up, on clean paper or nylon screens. Photographs and negatives may also be air dried by hanging with plastic clothespins on lines of monofilament. Any curling that may occur in the air drying process can be flattened at a later date. 47)
Collodion glass plate negatives and collodian positives (ambrotypes and tintypes) will be destroyed by freeze drying; therefore any water damage is very serious. Remove from water immediately and air dry. 48)
Microforms can withstand temperatures of up to 65C/150F. They will suffer destruction if exposed to 60% or greater relative humidity for long periods of time.
Film must be kept in clean, cold water and sent to the nearest film processing laboratory as soon as possible. Film cannot be dried before reprocessing because it will adhere to anything it which it comes into contact and be destroyed.
If film cannot be immediately treated, reels must be submerged in clean, cool water (below 18C/65F) in a sealed dark container. Submerge colour film for up to 48 hours, black and white film for 72 hours. 50)
Only add 1% solution of formaldehyde to the water if advised by a reprocessing centre. This may prevent softening of the film's emulsion; however, if left in the solution too long, the film will crack and flake.
If reprocessing is not an option, unroll the film, rinse in clean cool water, and lay out on its edge to dry. Ensure that the emulsion does not touch any surface, as it will adhere immediately. 52)
When dry, rewind the film with a hand-cranked reel, passing the film through flannel. Water spots may remain. 53)
Remove microfiche from the envelope to avoid sticking.
Wash off the mud and dirt under clean, cold water.
If reprocessing is available, keep the item wet, and envelop in cheesecloth.
DIAZO AND VESICULAR MICROFILM
Wash off mud or dirt under clean, cold water.
Air dry or dry with cheesecloth.
If damage is more than simple water spots, replicate silver gelatin camera masters if possible. If not, commercially reprocess the film. 54)
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