U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | RE: preservation of negatives/slides/prints

RE: preservation of negatives/slides/prints

  • To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
  • Subject: RE: preservation of negatives/slides/prints
  • From: Gawain Weaver <gawain.weaver@gmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2007 17:20:59 -0400
  • Comments: "alt-photo-process mailing list"
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While archival enclosures certainly never hurt, temperature and relative
humidity are far more important. Unless you have some immediate use for the
digital files, I would not rush to digitize. It's a lot of work, and as you
hint at, if they are left alone for a few years, they may be lost-- unlike
the negatives which if ignored but stored reasonably well, will still be in
excellent condition in 50 years.

It really comes down to the plans for the collection. If the intention is to
preserve them for the long term (100s of years), you might consider cold
storage. If the intention is more medium term, say 20-100 years, then
storing them in the coolest and driest place in the house may be adequate.

If you are turning to digital for preservation, you should give it some
serious thought before heading down that road. Though there can be good
reasons for doing so, it's a lot more work and a lot riskier than proper
storage of the originals.

Gawain Weaver

-----Original Message-----
From: Diana Bloomfield [mailto:dhbloomfield@bellsouth.net] 
Sent: Sunday, March 18, 2007 11:10 AM
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: preservation of negatives/slides/prints

Hi all,

A photographer friend of mine died recently, and her husband  
contacted me about her prints, negatives, and slides.  He wants to be  
able to archivally preserve those for her kids  and asked me about  
the best way to go about doing that.  My immediate answer is to  
simply place everything in the appropriate archival storage sleeves,  
place in an archival storage box, and keep away from light and heat.   
Am I missing something?  Does anybody have other advice?  I'm  
assuming the prints would be the most vulnerable to fading and  
damage, but is it worth scanning everything to digital format?  I  
realize we might not be using CDs in 10 years time, or less, but I  
assume whatever we are using could be copied again.  Anyway . . . if  
anybody has any better suggestions, let me know.



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