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How to preserve your glass plates ?

bulletMy first recommandation, probably the most important one, will be to store your glass plates in a dry and temperate room. To be clear, avoid your cellar or attic.
bulletIt is tempting to preserve your glass plates in their original cardboard boxes. This is clearly not a good idea because these boxes are today at the end of their life and most of them are in a poor condition. Moreover, these ones are made with acids and solvents which will inevitably destroy the emulsion of your precious plates.

Personally, I'm using acid free envelopes type CHRONOS with 4 flaps to protect my glass plates. I'm purchasing these ones on the website Art Conservation. These acid free envelopes are available in different sizes 9x12 cm, 13x18 cm, etc... When wrapped in these acid free envelopes, I'm storing my glass plates in archive boxes pHibox DUO model PM which exist in the same sizes as the envelopes.

These items are not very expensive and will keep your precious glass plates safe for several decades.

How to scan a glass plate without having a print of it ?
Glass plates are quite difficult to scan especially if they are thick and if the emulsion is not contrasted enough. After several tests, here is the process I would recommend :

bulletUse a scanner equiped with a back-lited window (e.g. HP Scanjet 4890 or equivalent)
bulletPut the glass plate on the scanner, emulsion must be in contact with the bottom scanner glass.
bulletDigitalize in million colors mode, resolution of 300 dpi and an enlargement of 100%.



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