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Detail from a panoramic photograph of ASTP cadets, 1943. Georgetown University Archives, Booth Family Center for Special Collections

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ASTP Cadets 1943

before
after

Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) cadets, gelatin silver print (DOP), 1943. Georgetown University Archives; Booth Family Center for Special Collections.

This panoramic photograph suffered extensive damage prior to its arrival in the University Archives. Exposure to high levels of humidity had caused the gelatin in the photograph to swell and adhere to the glass part of its picture frame. In some places, the image layer had completely detached from the paper support of the photograph. Since the exposure to moisture was uneven, the photograph also had cockled, causing image distortion. The glass part of the frame had broken into a fan pattern, and several areas of the image were lost along with missing pieces of broken glass. Conservators carefully used localized humidification from the back of the photograph to detach the image from the glass. The image areas that had detached from the paper support were readhered to the substrate using wheat starch paste. In addition, the photograph was carefully flattened, as its paper support had become brittle. Lastly, conservators inpainted some areas of image loss with watercolors. (A portion of the photograph is displayed here; the original measures 9 x 29 3/8 inches.)