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Nerd Night Houston

Nerd Night Houston

It's that time of the month again. We are happy to present our fifth line up of speakers.

Corina Rogge is a conservator scientist at the Menil and Museum of Fine Art Houston. Have you ever wondered how they keep paintings that are hundreds of years old from falling apart? Corina will be giving a presentation on her w...ork at the Menil and MFAH and how she keeps all the amazing artwork in such great condition for all of us.

Cory's presentation is titled:

Not on your tintype? An investigation into materials present in historic photographic plates

The tintype, a wet collodion photograph on a japanned metal support, was the most popular photographic technique in the U.S.A. between 1856 and 1900, when millions of these objects were created by studios, itinerant artists, and even amateurs working from published ‘how-to’ manuals. Despite the popularity of this method, there is a dearth of information regarding what materials were actually used to create these images. To fill this lacuna a comprehensive study of over 220 tintypes was undertaken to identify the materials used in the varnish, japanning, and metal supports. Findings suggest that the photographers and tintype plate manufacturers were using a much greater variety of materials than was suggested in the historical literature, and that economic factors strongly dictated their choice of materials and manufacturing methods.

Norie Guthrie is an archivist at Rice University and has had the pleasure of preserving and archiving everything from Rice University's institutional records to rare books to civil war and Houston and Texas history.

Her presentation is titled:

"A Forged Will, a Toilet Seat, and an X-Ray of Hitler's Skull: Just Another Day in Rice's Archives and Special Collections"

At the Woodson Research Center, we preserve, organize, and make available university archives and special collections to the public. In addition, we have a custom Digital Curation Lab to digitize materials and will soon be entering the world of digital forensics. In other words, we work with materials from the distant past and the present, and are not afraid to try new technology in an effort to preserve items of historical value. We also have some pretty cool stuff.