25-27 November 2015
National Centre for Synchrotron Science
Australia/Melbourne timezone

High Definition X-ray Fluorescence Elemental Mapping of Historic Photographs

27 Nov 2015, 13:30
National Centre for Synchrotron Science

National Centre for Synchrotron Science

Australian Synchrotron 800 Blackburn Road Clayton VIC 3168
Board: IM-08
Poster Imaging Poster Session 2


Daryl Howard (Australian Synchrotron)


In the 19th century, photography rapidly advanced with the continuous development of light-sensitive chemical-based processes. As such, some photographic processes were in use for less than a decade before being rendered obsolete. Some of these historic processes are sensitive to image degradation, and many photographic images are considered lost due to severe fading. We have non-destructively analysed several historic photograph types at the X-ray fluorescence microscopy beamline of the Australian Synchrotron to investigate the spatially resolved elemental distributions and their relationship to image permanence and the photographic processes used. The analysis also tested the hypothesis that besides providing chemical information about the photographs, image retrieval is also possible. We propose that scanning X-ray fluorescence methods may prove practical in recovering images that are faded beyond recognition.
Keywords X-ray fluorescence elemental mapping imaging photographs

Primary author

Daryl Howard (Australian Synchrotron)


David Paterson (Australian Synchrotron) Mr David Thurrowgood (Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery) Dr Martin de Jonge (Australian Synchrotron)

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