Archiving the Negatives
Zofia Chomętowska’s archive consists of 120 boxes of approximately 50 frames each, totalling an estimated 6,000 negatives from the years 1929-1960. A large majority, except those from the 1950s and 1950s, are nitrocellulose negatives. Following consultations with Norwegian specialists, we decided to change the storage system and now each frame is stored separately, in a handmade acid-free paper sleeve which allows for maximum airflow. The sleeves are kept in an attested cardboard box. Work on the negatives was painstaking and required utmost precision. Two- or three-frame strips of negative were cut into single frames and carefully housed in sleeves handmade for the purpose. Extreme precision was required in assigning catalogue numbers. Prepared for digitisation and scanned, all the negatives were then made available in the online database. The archive included numerous invaluable negatives, both from the photographer’s early period of work (1920s/1930s eastern Poland and European trips), as well as from the postwar years, allowing the researchers to discover the ‘late’ Chomętowska and her Argentine years.