Daguerreotypes are known as the earliest form of photography. Given its cultural and historical impact, it isn’t surprising that surviving samples are handled with great care and precision. However, it has been discovered that some daguerreotypes are slowly deteriorating.
Alarmed by this development, the George Eastman House – the world’s oldest museum dedicated to photography, and houses around 5,000 daguerreotypes — has sought the help of the University of Rochester and its nanotechnology department to assist in finding a way to save these photographs.
But first, they must pinpoint the cause of the decay.
According to lab findings, small colonies of fungi grow within the daguerreotypes, and eat away the image in the surface. As of the moment, a permanent solution or process to stop such fungal growth has not yet been discovered. A special air-tight frame, however, has been developed to help slow down the deterioration process and buy more time to develop a more long-term solution.
You can learn more about the research here or you can watch the video below.
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