The Preservation of Family Photographs

Here, There and Everywhere

This presentation offers basic guidance on the care and preservation of family photographs from nineteenth-century tintypes to contemporary color prints. The webinar addresses the fundamental physical and chemical properties of photographic print and negative materials, including albums and scrapbooks, and the causes and mechanisms of their deterioration. Strategies for preservation, such as proper handling, storage and display techniques, will be shared.

This webinar is offered for free to celebrate Preservation Week. Learn more

ALCTS thanks Archival Products for sponsoring this webinar and supporting Preservation Week.

Originally presented Tuesday, April 23, 2013.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the session, attendees will better understand:
  • basic characterization and identification of albumen, silver gelatin, and chromogenic color print materials, and film base negatives
  • agents of deterioration for photographic materials
  • storage and exhibition practices
  • handling guidelines
  • prioritization for preservation

Who Should Attend

Anyone responsible for the preservation of family or other photographic holdings and collections and interested in the preservation of our global photographic heritage.


Debra Hess Norris is Chair of the Art Conservation Department at the University of Delaware, and Professor of Photograph Conservation.

Since 1985, Norris has authored more than thirty articles and book chapters on care and treatment of photographic materials, emergency response, ethics, and conservation education; and taught more than one hundred workshops and seminars for conservators and allied professionals. Norris has lectured and consulted on the preservation of photographic collections worldwide.




How to Register

No registration required. Access recording now:

Recording (.wmv)

Recording (YouTube)

Slides (.pdf)

Questions & Answers (.doc)

Tech Requirements

Computer with Internet access (high-speed connection is best) and media player software. Headphones recommended.

If you receive a Codec error when playing the recorded file with Windows Media Player, download the gotowebinar codec file from: The Codec acts as a patch that allows the recording, which is created with a higher version of Media Player, to play in version 7. For more information on playing the recording, see the FAQ.


For questions about webinars, contact Julie Reese, ALCTS Events Manager at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5034 or