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Subject: Photographic proofing paper

Photographic proofing paper

From: Klaus Pollmeier <kpollmeier>
Date: Friday, October 6, 2000
Frank A. Reynolds <fr0c [at] andrew__cmu__edu> writes

>Portrait studios used to make proofs using photographic proofing
>paper. These prints have a brown tone to them.  I believe they are
>referred to as developing-out papers...

These papers were silver gelatin printing-out papers, forming an
image during exposure.

>...  They where used because with time the image would
>fade thereby encouraging the person to have standard prints made.

Although the silver created by printing-out is approximately 10
times smaller in particle size than developed-out silver and thus
more vulnerable to environmental attack, I can hardly believe that
this was used as marketing instrument. It seems more likely that it
was more a matter of convenience, as negatives with different
contrast could be printed on such paper, the tonal qualities were
superior to developed-out images and you didn't need a darkroom to
process it.

>...  I was wonder if there was any process found that will
>stabilize the image?

A stabilisation treatment, like a toning solution for instance,
always includes a certain risk and will not yield perfectly
predictable results with aged photographs. Still more research is
needed for such chemical treatments. If the prints look rather cool
in tone (from chocolate brown to neutral or even violet/bluish), it
is likely that they were already gold toned during manufacture. Such
prints tend to be relatively stable, if kept under archival
conditions. The warmer their tone, the more likely it is that they
are less permanent.

Klaus Pollmeier
Mellon Advanced Residency Program in Photograph Conservation
Rochester, NY

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:22
                Distributed: Saturday, October 14, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-14-22-002
Received on Friday, 6 October, 2000

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