-Photographs will fade in direct sunlight.

-Never laminate photographs. (This cannot be reversed).

-Do not put sticky tape on photographs.

-Never attempt to clean old photos by wiping with water. This will soften the emulsion and tear it.

-Use silica packets in boxes of photos to protect from moisture.

-Don’t put photos face to face as they may stick together.

-Generally, with photographs, the colder the storage, the longer the life.

-N.B. Before attempting any “repairs” on an original photograph consider potential damage. If in doubt, consult a conservator.


Dating family photographs.

Photo restoration MelbourneA “timeline” of photography can help to better understand the main photographic developments.

In the context of family history photo research, it is important to know type of photograph you are looking at, and when they were made.

In the early years of photography, the main advances occurred in the period between 1840-1880.

When doing photographic family history research from this era, the Daguerreotype, Ambrotype and Tintype are commonly encountered.

All three processes produced one unique photograph.

More commonly seen were the Carte de Viste (or CDV).

For the family history researcher, CDVs provide a wealth of opportunities for accurate dating.

CDVs often have elaborate graphic designs on the back. Using the reference book “The Mechanical Eye”, by Alan Davies and Peter Stanbury,  it is often possible to date a CDV to within a few years.


By the 1870’s photographers realised they could charge more for larger prints.

The Cabinet card at 4.5 x 6.5 inches in size, was bigger than the CDV and less likely to have the photographers name on the back.

“Cabinet cards” were so called because they could be placed on a cabinet or side table.

Often collected in albums, cabinet cards and CDVs were a Victorian rage. They had ceased by 1905.



“Research Preserve and Restore old photographs”- talk by Peter King.

A one hour talk and Powerpoint presentation consisting of,

A historical background of photography,

How to date photographs,

Preservation of photographs,

Scanning, copying photographs,

Organising photographs,Photo restoration.

Attendees are encouraged to bring in their own old photos for assesment.


5th August at 5.30 pm at the Stonnington History Centre, 1257 High St, Malvern VIC 3144  Ph.8290 1360


“Family History Photographs”. by Peter King.

Family History Photographs by Peter King.

Illustrated with examples, this is a handy guide to anyone wanting to understand their own family photographs.

-The historical background of photography.

-How to date photographs.

-Preservation of photographs.

-Scanning/ copying.


-Organising photographs.

-Photo restoration.

Cost $30.00 including postage.

Email https://www.pkphotorestoration.com.au/contact/ or call 03 9885 9586



Historical Images

The State Library of Victoria has a large collection of historical images that can be downloaded from its website,

“Time out Melbourne” has a number of interesting vintage photographs of Melbourne. 

These are important as we are rapidly losing much of our architectural heritage to modern development. Also, they provide an important reference for how previous generations lived.

Photo restoration Melbourne
Swanson and Collins st.1950’s.


To discuss your photo restoration project, and for a free quote
Call – 03 9885 95860409 175 604