Silver Gelatin Dry Plate Storage Tips For Long-Term Preservation

June 02, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Silver Gelatin Dry Plate Storage Tips For Long-Term Preservation by Tim LaytonSilver Gelatin Dry Plate Storage Tips For Long-Term Preservation by Tim Layton In this article, I share some tips and ideas of how to store silver gelatin dry plates for long-term preservation.

If you investing the time in creating and using silver gelatin dry plates, then it only makes sense to take some common sense steps to help protect them.  

If you are a professional preservation specialist and can think of additional tips, please comment below and I will update this article.  

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SILVER GELATIN DRY PLATE STORAGE TIPS

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Tip # 1: I have been informed by curators and museum personnel to store silver gelatin glass plates in a four-flap buffered enclosure with the emulsion side facing up.

The flap enclosure helps prevent damage to the negatives that would occur from pulling them out of and placing inside of a sleeve type enclosure. 

Tip # 2: Dry plates should be stored vertically and on the long side and not touching each other.  An acid-free separator is ideal.  

Tip # 3: Use acid and lignin-free storage boxes and keep away from UV light. 

Tip # 4: Label the exterior of the box noting the sensitive nature of the plates "Caution: Contains Glass Negatives" or something along these lines.

Tip # 5: Try and store the plates in an environment around 65F and between 30% to 40% relative humidity. If the relative humidity frequently dips below 30%, the image bind of the glass plate will dehydrate and if above 40%, the glass will begin hydrating.  You should also avoid big swings in temperatures and humidity levels.

Join me and photographers from around the world in the Handmade Silver Gelatin Emulsions Community and learn more about how to make and use silver gelatin emulsions.  

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