As well as preserving historically significant documents for community organisations, I also enjoy preserving photographic memories. Old photographs, either of my own family, or often, people who have heard of my services and have that one special photo of someone in their family.
Everyone has one somewhere, it does not even have to be that old. It may have suffered some damage over the years from being torn, folded, stuck to glass in a frame due to heat or fire, faded due to sunlight, suffered water damage or even fire damage. Regardless, its kept hidden away in a safe place, waiting for its keeper to decide what to do with it. They want to fix it, but don’t know how to do it, or where to go.
The photo below is one from my Grandmother’s collection. It is her older sister, Norma. Norma passed away when she was only 10 months old, so this is the only photograph that exists of her. It was printed onto a postcard (very common for the time) and several members of the extended family received one. I have only managed to locate 2-3 of them, so this photo is very precious. At some point it has been folded to fit into a frame, causing the image to crack and tear. The silver gelatine has started to rot, causing a blue tinge to the black areas. The fading has occurred in an uneven pattern, and there is plenty of dirt and scratches throughout the photo (zooming in on it makes this even more obvious).
The damage caused by over 100 years of wear and tear has been wiped away in only 45 minutes. I of course still have the original, but now I have a worthy backup, should the original deteriorate further, or it was to go missing or perhaps become damaged further.
This photo will now take its place in my family’s history, and be able to be shared with future generations.