The general guidelines covering the preservation of works of art promote curative and preventive conservation.
When we work with photographic materials we frequently face the challenge of dealing with sizeable archives and collections consisting of a large number of images. In situations such as these, we prefer to implement a strategy of preventive conservation in order to identify the factors that affect the overall condition of the entire collection.
We then draft a multilevel preservation plan and establish a list of priorities which may include developing climatically controlled storage spaces, creating neutral micro-climates through the use of suitable archival envelopes and boxes, developing a disaster preparedness and pest management plan or, if necessary, even carrying out conservation treatments on an individual item-bases.
Photographs are fragile and displaying them has to be done with care. Once again we begin with an assessment of the environment in which the photograph will be displayed and an evaluation of the vulnerability of the photograph. We closely consider the quality of the mounting materials that need to be used and the level of light the photograph will be exposed to as well as the length of its exposure. We also pay special attention to any monitoring systems that will be used because environmental conditions need to be constantly controlled and fluctuations minimised.