| Egyptian Journal of Archeological and Restoration Studies


EJARS (Established 2011)

Volume 12 ,issue 1 | Winter and Spring 2022 | Pages : 7-27

THE EVALUATION OF AGAROSE-BASED GEL SYSTEMS FOR SURFACE CLEANING ALBUMEN PRINTS VS THE CONVENTIONAL WATER TREATMENT

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: 10.21608/ejars.2022.246573

pages: 7-27

Authors:
Ali, M.
Conservation dept., Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo Univ., Giza, Egypt.

Abstract:
The albumen process was the main positive printing photographic process of the 19th century. Albumen prints form a significant part of historical collections, whether on display or in storage. Since pho-tographs are in high demand, they often suffer from improper and frequent handling, resulting in dirt and stains. Accordingly, albumen prints may benefit from surface cleaning. However, conventional treatments are very risky procedures which may cause severe damage to albumen prints. Recently, many gel-based systems have been developed and tested for possible use to surface clean different cultural materials. Given that the use of gelled systems proved to have several advantages over common treatments, the suitability of agarose-based gel systems and their effects on treated albumen surfaces was thoroughly assessed using visual inspection, UV fluore-scence imaging, digital microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscope, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, colorimetric measurements, pH value measurements, ninhydrin test, mechanical testing, thickness measurements, and fungal testing. In this study, agarose-based gel was prepared in three concent-rations (2, 3, and 4% in distilled water), without and with a solvent (i.e. ethanol or toluene). For studying long-term effects of the selected treatments, prepared test samples were exposed to humid heat aging for a period of five days as described in the ISO 5630-3:1996 standard. For color change measurements, vintage albumen prints were used. The conventional water treatment was also carried out for comparative purposes. Based on the obtained results, the tested agarose-based systems are less aggressive than the water treatment conventionally used to clean albumen prints.

Keywords:
Albumen print Agarose-based gel cleaning systems SEM AFM ATR-FTIR

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