Peer Into the Past: VA Top 10 Program

Posted By: Kristina Boodram News & Announcements,

Are you ready for the VA Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Program in 2024?

What is the VA Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Program?

The Virginia Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Program is a yearly initiative that aims to identify and preserve significant, endangered artifacts at libraries, archives, and museums in Virginia and Washington DC.

Through this program, we can raise awareness and encourage action to preserve these artifacts for future generations. We invite everyone to join us in this effort to safeguard our shared history and heritage. Read more about the program here.

Submissions to the VA Top 10 Endangered Artifacts Program will open on January 22, 2024. Link coming soon.

A Peer Into the Past: The Poe Museum 

"Since receiving the funds from VAM, we were able to get enough gifts from our social media followers and members to conserve not only the photograph but also a small painting of Poe. Both objects are currently at a conservation studio where they have been assessed and are set to begin their treatments. They might even be back at the Poe Museum before the VAM Conference.

Poe Museum artifact  The Poe Museum artifact

The photograph has been removed from its case, and our conservator told us that it was a hyalotype, an early photograph on glass invented around 1850. The plate appears to have albumen in the binder and/or have toning. The use of albumen and collodion for hyalotypes predates gelatin and was most commonly used from about 1850 to the 1860s. It appears to have water damage, and someone in the twentieth century replaced the original backing material with a mirror. Our conservator will replace the backing with an inert white material that will make the image on the glass more prominent. To clean the plate, she will use an airbulb as much as possible to remove accumulated dust and grime on the glass plate. Then she may have to use other techniques to address the blooming that occured on the plate after exposure to water. She will also clean and repair the case before reassembling everything and sealing it."

The Poe Museum logo