Showing an older Beverley Nichols in a garden with his beloved pets, this photograph perfectly captures the playful essence of Nichols along with two great passions of his life. Upon close inspection, the photographic print itself is quite wrinkled and its mount slightly warped. In an ideal environment for preserving photographic materials, the humidity level stays consistent, free of dramatic highs and lows. With this goal in mind, conservators and other caretakers measure and track the ‘relative humidity’ (RH) of storage and exhibition spaces. The RH for black-and-white photographs, such as this one, is recommended to be between 30% and 50%, with fluctuations of less than 5%.

Prior to housing in Special Collections, the conditions for this object may have been less controlled; fluctuations in humidity could have caused the print and mount to expand and contract to different extents resulting in lasting distortions.

          -Tina Wang