Restoration of 19th Century Photograph

Its always nice to see photos from our past and imagine our ancestors’ lives. I was so pleased when this photograph was brought to me for restoration, because it is obviously a family heirloom. As you can see, the original photo had been torn in several places, and at some point taped back together. The different layers of tape resulted in varying color densities, which increased the challenge versus just piecing together a ripped image. In this case, we are lucky the tape didn’t damage the underlying image layer.

The mat around this image had also seen better days, so I decided to replace it with a digital mat. However, we did want to keep the handwritten caption “Grandpap Barnes,” so I lifted it from the background and included it on the digital mat.


Before RestorationAfter

After Restoration

As you store your family’s historic photographs, here are a few tips to keep those images lasting for generations to come.

  • Store in acid free boxes or clear plastic sleeves
  • Keep prints away from sources of heat, light and moisture
  • Use photo corners rather than tapes, glues or rubber cement
  • When framing, always use a mat to separate the print from the glass

For more information about proper care for long term storage, please visit the National Archives website. If you have family photographs you would like restored to their original condition, please contact us for a personal quote. Your treasured photographs will never leave our office, as we do not outsource this delicate service.

So what do you think? Please leave a comment with your thoughts on this project.

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