Contemporary Collections: Preprints from the AICCM National Conference 17th g 19th October 2007 Brisbane pp. 143-150
Opalotypes with gelatine binder layers are the most commonly found opalotype variant in private and institutional collections in Australia. A characteristic deterioration mechanism of the variant is severe flaking and delamination of the gelatine binder layer from the opal glass substrate often causing severe image loss. Currently there are few suitable treatment recommendations to stabilise the gelatine binder. To fill this gap in knowledge, preliminary research was undertaken to find a safe, effective consolidation method. Consolidants in varying dilutions were applied by two methods: direct application with a brush and/or syringe; and misting with an ultrasonic mister based on the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) method. The plates were then analysed to detect any physical changes. It was hoped that the ultrasonic mister would produce the best results but surprisingly the samples treated with the traditional syringe/brush method displayed far less dimensional and surface change than those that had been misted.