About this site
Presenting the art and science of albumen printing, this site
brings together 19th Century technical instruction, contemporary
research, an online forum for conservation treatment and a wealth
of images. This unique resource is dedicated to those who value
the application of technology to the creative process of image
making. The site was first shown (see image of
preview event) on September 23, 2000, in Kent, Connecticut at the
Conservation of Contemporary Photographs symposium. See also Press Release concerning the
The site is the result of a partnership of art conservators backed by
institutional support. The key personnel share a strong interest
in photography and a commitment to using new media for education and
National Center for Preservation
Technology and Training (NCPTT) funded the project from a grant
received through the Information Management program. Mary Carroll,
Information Management Director at NCPTT oversaw the review process for
the proposal and remained actively engaged in the project development
The Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, California sponsored the project. Museum director Richard Gadd supported the project through administration of the grant application and project development process and contribute an exhibition in the Gallery on albumen printing in Japan.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of Stanford University Libraries
and Academic Information Resources who host the site.
Timothy Vitale and Paul Messier conceived the site and did
the development work to secure sponsorship by the Monterey Museum of
Arty and financial backing through the National Center for Preservation
Technology and Training (NCPTT).
Tim developed and wrote much of the original content for the site
with an emphasis on science and technology, and solicited content for
the gallery. He worked through many of the imaging issues including the
conversion and restoration of the faded microfiche used to illustrate
the Robert Sobieszek, British Masters of the Albumen Print
monograph. Working with Messier, he shot MiniDV video of Doug Munson,
in Housatonic MA, and did the NLE (Final Cut Pro 1.2.5 w/ Media Cleaner
EZ) for the video clips. He also created the clips for the ESEM video
from the original VHS master made at the ElectroScan Corporation.
Paul created the organizational structure of the site and managed
early versions before handoff to stanford.edu. He cataloged the historic
articles and scoured various libraries for historic publications on
albumen printing. Paul wrote much of the original content, including the
topic headings in the Library. He coordinated the unending efforts to
obtain permission to reproduce articles under copyright (pre-1911). With
Vitale, he helped shoot the video of Doug Munson making an albumen
Tim and Paul also contribute many of the articles found in the library
on the conservation science of albumen photographs.
Walter Henry converted
virtually every article and monograph presented on this
site through scanning, optical character recognition (OCR) and
intensive editing. As the webmaster of Conservation Online, Walter
maintains the servers and provides the technical expertise that keep
the site up and running.
John Burke designed the graphical
user interface for the site as well as the site navigation tools and did
for development and construction of the Treatment Forum, and for providing
modest "borg to geek" translation services.
Therese Mulligan, Curator of Photography at the George Eastman House International Museum
of Photography and Film assisted us in obtaining permission to use
images found on the GEH's Schankman Image Server and the Sobieszek,
British Masters of the Albumen Print exhibition catalog.
Toddy Munson and Doug Munson of the Chicago Albumen Works generously
lent their considerable expertise to create video footage dealing with
the creation of albumen prints.
José Orraca, Conservator of Photographs, Kent CT,
provided ongoing encouragement. In addition, he supported the
initial treatment-based research project the culmination of which is
this web site.
James Reilly, Director of the Image
Permanence Institute granted us permission to use his extensive
monograph, The Albumen and Salted Paper Book and several more
key articles dealing with conservation research as applied to albumen
Andrew Robb, photography conservator at the Library of Congress, gave us access
to his database of cartes de visites based on the library's American Memory Project.
Robert Sobieszek, Curator of Photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art,
granted permission to reproduce the essays he wrote for the 1976
exhibition British Masters of the Albumen Print.
Diane Tafilowski, photography conservator at Boston Art Conservation handled
copyright permission requests and did a great deal of research using
19th century journals in the Boston Public Library.
Albumen Photographs: History, Science and Preservation
Copyright 2000. John Burke, Walter Henry, Paul Messier, Timothy Vitale
and Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources. All
rights reserved. For information on use of individual articles, please
contact the authors.
This web site’s contents are solely the responsibility of
the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position
or policies of the National Park Service, the National Center for
Preservation Technology and Training, The Monterey Museum of Art or