Introduction to Photographic Conservation


Start date


Time commitment

3 days


Face to face, 9am each day


Face to Face



Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the face to face nature of this course, this course has been postponed.

This course will provide an introduction to the theory and practice of the conservation of photographic materials. Topics covered will include the identification of a wide range of photographic process types from Daguerreotypes to digital prints as well as the basics of photographic conservation treatment.

Each topic will begin with a tutorial session followed by a hands-on practical session directly related to the topic.

Catering is provided each day.

Career potential

This course gives an introduction to a broad field that has applications in libraries, archives, museums and galleries.

Who should apply for this course

Conservators or collection managers who want a better understanding of the history and technology of photographic processes, and the treatments that may be undertaken of photographic materials.

Learning outcomes

  • Develop a basic understanding of the variety of historic and contemporary photographic images, and some of the potential conservation treatments that may be undertaken on this material
  • Receive an introduction to photographic conservation practice including identification, surface cleaning, stain reduction, repair, inpainting and preservation

Course presenters

Learn from industry experts

Cheryl Jackson

Lecturer in Heritage Preservation, University of Canberra

Cheryl Jackson is the owner of A3 Collection Services, a small private business established to provide preservation advice and training to small cultural institutions in regional and urban Australia. She has been a professional Conservator for 32 years and is one of the most senior Photographic Conservators in Australia. She has undertaken advanced training in Photographic Conservation, specialising in colour and digital materials and regularly lectures in Photographic Conservation at University level. Cheryl has extensive experience in Paper Conservation, Preventive Conservation and Disaster Preparedness and Response, as well as Photographic Materials.

Course structure

Session 1

Understanding photographic materials and Identification of process types

  • Introduction to materials – what goes into a Photo?
  • Introduction to black and white processes - from Daguerreotypes to resin coated silver gelatin prints. Including negative materials.
      Self-directed identification practical – a set of known samples and a set of unknown samples. ID the unknown images with reference to the known images
  • Introduction to colour processes – from additive screens to inkjet prints. Includes negatives and transparencies.
    1. Self-directed identification practical – a set of known samples and a set of unknown samples. ID the unknown images with reference to the known images
Session 2

Surface Cleaning and Stain Reduction

  • Surface Cleaning – the theory behind it and considerations based on material types
    1. Mechanical cleaning and solvent cleaning practical.
  • Stain reduction – the theory behind it and considerations based on material types
    1. Washing techniques and considerations for successful drying.
  • Photos stuck to glass - practical session on the Gore-Tex/Reemay hook technique.
    1. Fibre based and resin coated photos stuck to glass, and the removal there of
Session 3

Compensation and Collection Preservation

  • Compensation - infilling and inpainting B&W and colour images.
    1. Experimentation with different infilling and inpainting materials including digital media.
  • Preservation - considerations for whole collections
    1. Environment, packaging materials, handling

Why choose UC Pro

UC Endorsed

Backed by the reputation of one of Australia’s top 10 universities.

THE World University Rankings 2020


University expertise with practical workforce skills. Taught by industry experts.

Fast and flexible

Short courses that fit in with your busy lifestyle.

Study your way

Online, in-person and blended learning to suit your lifestyle.

UC Endorsed

Upon completion of the Introduction to Photographic Conservation course you will earn a digital badge and certificate of completion from UC Pro that you can share on your resume and LinkedIn profile.

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