Hart Nautical


BCCA Provincetown Provincetown




Cleaning Photographic Glass Plate Negatives

The objectives of cleaning glass plate negatives are to minimize their continued deterioration, and safeguard them from further damage. This is accomplished by carefully removing foreign contaminants, housing them in unbuffered archivally safe envelops, storing them in reinforced negative boxes and reformatting the images into digital files.

Cleaning Station (Use latex gloves in handling glass plate negatives)

Cleaning station

The work area consists of a light table, archivally safe matt boards, sterile cotton balls, distilled water, soft brush, bulb duster and a magnifying glass, and a custom frame to hold the negatives while cleaning.



Inspect the negatives on a light table and carefully and gently dust the emulsion side to remove any foreign particles.  Cease this operation if there are any signs to flaking or lifting of the emulsion for the glass support.



cleaning glass plate negativesCushion the bed of the custom  frame with an acid free board and place the negatives emulsion side down and clean the glass side using sterile cotton balls and distilled water.  Hold the negative hard against the frame to prevent any movement and possible scratching of the negative. Dampen the cotton ball and clean in circular motion.