One of the most celebrated objects in the history of photography is featured in a permanent exhibition just inside the main entrance to the Harry Ransom Center. The untitled photograph—the earliest known surviving photograph made with the aid of the camera obscura—was produced in 1827 by the French scientist and inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce using a process he called héliographie. Permanent exhibitions are never really “permanent,” however; objects may remain in place, but their meanings are always evolving, and exhibitions are periodically revised to reflect those advances. [Read more…] about Introducing ‘The Niépce Heliograph’
I have yet to encounter someone who doesn’t know of the 1974 horror classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. While you may not have seen it, you’ve almost assuredly heard of it. The film follows five teenagers on their way to visit a desecrated grave when they pick up a hitchhiker. They find themselves at the hitchhiker’s family home where they are thrust into a world of terror. The hitchhiker is the brother of a chainsaw wielding, cannibalistic serial killer called Leatherface, a name born from his grisly habit of creating and wearing flesh masks from his victims. [Read more…] about Preserving a Texas villain: Leatherface
Conservators Olivia Primanis and Kimberly Kwan of the book and paper lab and Diana Diaz of the photography lab talk about the tools that make their work possible, from the esoteric and vintage to the commonplace and modern.
As an English student at Florida A&M University, I was attracted to this internship because it granted me an opportunity to really explore an archival library. [Read more…] about A day in my life as a preservation and conservation intern
People often associate glove-wearing with the handling of old or rare book and paper materials. [Read more…] about Gloves: to wear or not to wear?
Make-do repairs helped preserve the history of vaudeville
Collection items that have been selected for exhibition frequently come to the paper lab for repair and stabilization before they are prepared for exhibition. Recently, conservators Kimberley Kwan (above) and Jane Boyd repaired several late nineteenth-century lithographic posters for inclusion in the exhibition Vaudeville!