The Bustin Collection (now online here):

The Bustin family of photographers set up in Hereford in 1853 and were an active business until the 1960s. This collection is of commissions for studio portraits, landed estates and their livestock, (particularly Hereford bulls), family gatherings and important county events and dates from c1880 – c1920.

There are 7,396 glass plates in the Bustin collection which was worked on by 11 volunteers. Started in October 2105 and completed in July 2017 the total number of good plates were 6,933. There were 463 broken plates which were placed into specially design sink mats. The conservation jobs included:

  • Cutting 4-flap folders from sheets of archival photo paper in the required sizes. (2 volunteers)
  • Cleaning each plate with isopropyl alcohol, firstly in solution with water, then pure. (6 volunteers)
  • Placing each plate in new 4-flap folder & put into new archival box.
  • Updating the catalogue entry for that box with any information extra to the listing, or of plates missing or damaged.
  • Broken plates were kept separate and bespoke sink mats were made for each of those plates. (1 volunteer)
  • Creating a paper index and spreadsheet catalogue of the photographic plates

Other collections treated during the project:

Foster & Skeffington: 2,670 plates reference CL3

This was a photographic studio in Hereford. Derek Foster was also official photographer for the Hereford Times, and many of the plates in this collection are from the 1940s & 50s and are of the newspaper kind – important visitors, ceremonial and social events, pop concerts.

Vivian of Hereford: 1436 plates reference DB6

Also a photographic studio in Hereford, active in the 1940s-60s. A very mixed collection of subjects – studio portraits, special events. Indications of the use of colour in printing these plates is an interesting feature of this collection.

Richard Jenkins Collection – 820 plates – reference CK18

Richard Jenkins was a farmer in Herefordshire’s Golden Valley in the early 20th century. He was far more interested in his photographic hobby though. We have an amazing visual understanding of life, work and society in the Longtown area in the early years of the 20th century thanks to this collection. Nine other smaller collections to finish will add another c750 plates. Total number of Glass Plates cleaned, packaged, and re-boxed will be in the region of 12,700. The project will have taken 3 years from Oct 2015