This gallery illustrates some of the stages in conserving images for digitisation and permanent storage.
The collection was donated to the National Motor Museum Trust by commentator Murray Walker and were inherited by him from his father Graham. The collection comprises several thousand glass plate negatives of Isle of Man TT races in the 1920's and 1930's making them a very important historical record.
Each plate was removed from its packing, cleaned, re-packed, details recorded (event, rider, machine, location, year etc). Negatives in good order were then scanned according to museum approved standards and then stored on a server and backup.
Damaged plates were then treated individually according to the level of deterioration, broken plates being scanned in pieces and digitally re-assembled, each piece re-packed separately to avoid damage.
Plates where the emulsion was peeling proved to be the most difficult to treat, no technique is available to re-stick the emulsion to the glass and it is very hygroscopic and will wrinkle just from the atmosphere or even the conservators breath!
That said, with a great deal of care and patience it is possible to scan and recover the image as can be seen in the last two pictures in the gallery.
All images courtesy National Motor Museum Trust