Students Learn How to Preserve HBCU Photo Collections

Twenty students from 10 historically Black colleges and universities recently took part in a seven-day workshop at the University of Delaware on preserving old photographs. The workshop was held by the department of art conservation at the University of Delaware.

The students learned processes for restoring and preserving daguerreotypes, tintypes and Cyanotypes and created photographic images using chemicals on traditional photographic paper. The students will return to their colleges and work to preserve their HBCUs’ photographic collections.

Debra Hess Norris, who holds the Henry Francis dePont Chair in Fine Arts and is chair of the art conservation department at the University of Delaware, said, “Their colleges and universities have very important collections of significant historical value. And, like all smaller institutions, they can benefit from preservation assistance. The students in the workshop gained not just knowledge and skills but also awareness of how important it is to preserve these materials.”

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