Preservation of Film Negatives of the Elias del Aguila Collection of the Historical Archive of Centro de la Imagen (EAP1234)

Aims and objectives

This project consists in performing the register, preventive conservation and refrigeration of 2405 items out of the total of 7660 negatives of the Elias del Aguila Collection. We plan to perform the cleaning of the negatives and digitise them with a scanner. Once we have the digital files checked by quality control, they are available for being sent and uploaded online. For the next step, the negatives must be moisture pre-conditioned for 3 months before placing them inside the moisture-proof housing and finally refrigerate them.

Outcomes

Despite the state of emergency in Peru since March of 2020 –, we achieved the cataloguing of a total of 7334 items out of was we projected (7660 items). We also
achieved the cleaning of 2410 items and the digitisation of 2399 plastic negatives.

We created two copies of each digitisation: one in negative, one in positive, making a total of 4798 digital files. Six glass negatives were not digitised due to their fragility.
The digitised items were photographic negatives of silver gelatine on plastic supports, such as cellulose nitrate and acetate (probably cellulose di-acetate), dating from 1900 to c.1940. The photographs were in a very poor state of conservation, much of their content was compromised due to loss of the emulsion.
The content of the images was important to us, because it portrayed not only a Lima of the early twentieth century, but also because the photographic techniques changed over those thirty years at the Elias del Aguila studio.