Preservation of the Collection of Historical Photographic Negatives

The Tropenmuseum has an extensive collection of historical photographic material.
In the period between September 2001 and July 2004, an extensive part of the collection of historical negatives on glass, and negatives with nitrate and acetate was repacked from its original packing into an acid free four flap. The project was completed in cooperation with Capilux, a company that was responsible for the digital photographs.

This project was considered a preservation project. After a small survey was done every negative was charted in order to identify possible damage as well as any gradation of contamination in specific negatives on glass. This was also done to identify any cleaning needs in the future. When damage was identified, ‘first aid’ could be provided if required. This process allowed the possibility of preventing any further damage in the future. Aside from the A and B selection process, collections that once were donated to the institution but were never before selected, finally received proper treatment and new packaging. Approximately 55.000 historical negatives passed the review.