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Paper and photograph conservator Rachel Danzing instructed MOCA staff on how to construct custom-made housing for our fragile historical photographs. In the series of photographs below, a MOCA Collections staff member, Anna, is shown constructing her first frame backing for a 1945 class photo of P.S. 23 students.

Here, Anna is measuring in preparation to cut out one of two paper pockets to hold the photograph in place on its hard backing. For long term preservation purposes, it is important to use acid-free archival grade paper and board.
She has cut a triangle out of her square so that when folded, the paper forms a triangle that can act as a pocket to hold in place an edge of the photograph.
Here, she shows how the paper should be folded into a triangle to create the pocket.
To secure the pocket to the hard backing, Anna uses double-sided tape.
After measuring where it should be placed, Anna adheres and secures the photograph within the second pocket, which is designed to be openable, so that the photograph can easily be removed from its housing for display or other use.
The rehoused photograph. Before constructing the housing, Anna determined that the upper right edge was particularly brittle and prone to breakage. Accordingly, the constructed a larger pocket specifically to house that edge in place.
She is here adhering the pocket to the backing, which provides the fragile photograph extra support while being stored flat and allows it to be easily taken out for use without excessive handling.
Anna is here fitting the photograph in the first pocket.