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Grant number like: PG-51445-11

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City of Hampton - Hampton History Museum (Hampton, VA 23669-3522)
Bethany Austin (Project Director: May 2010 to September 2012)

Preservation Assistance Grants
Preservation and Access

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2011 – 6/30/2012

Cold Storage of the Cheyne Collection's Cellulose Acetate Negatives

The purchase of two freezers recommended by a consultant to provide cold storage for 50,000 deteriorating acetate negatives created by a local photographer from 1894 to 1960 that document the history of the community, including education, religion, commerce, and race relations.

The collection of photographic negatives held by the Hampton History Museum comprises a substantial portion of the Museum's overall collection holdings, in terms of its volume, demand for use, and overall historic and cultural content. The collection is in danger of loss because of a damage process called "vinegar syndrome." This active deterioration will be permanently halted through re-housing of the negatives into archival enclosures, and by storing the negatives in freezer units. Hampton History Museum staff will follow recommendations, on supplies, environmental conditions, and procedures, produced as the result of a collection-wide survey conducted by conservation firm Chicago Albumen Works. Over two years, Museum staff will re-house the entire collection of negatives, following a simple procedure which will save its single most important asset. This proposal requests funding for purchase of equipment to be used during the last phase of the project.