Our last topic covered how long film lasts… in this article we have a few suggestions on how to best store film and prints.
Make sure your film and even photo prints are stored as well as possible prior to getting them digitised.
- Store your film, both slides and negatives, in archival quality (high quality plastic archive album style pages like those pictured above – we have had great results from Print-File archival products).
- Make sure your photo print albums are suitable for long term storage – many inexpensive albums yellow, break down, or become an adhesive mess over time. Archival albums are good – yet storing prints in their original paper print envelopes seem to best maintain them.
- Store these Archive Preservers in near air-tight plastic tubs and place moisture absorbers for good measure (here in Sydney many days are well over 80% humidity… if your shoes are moulding – your film most certainly is at risk!)
- Avoid storing the tubs in direct sunlight or a room with temperature or humidity extremes. As many closets get damp – perhaps a pantry or other dry cupboard (if able, keep an incandescent light bulb on as it seems to keep humidity at bay).
Try to organise your film and prints over time – it can be a mammoth task! If you have film and prints – then best not get scans of your photo prints (as they will degrade faster and yield poorer quality scan quality). We are happy to do this for you – contact us for an estimate.
Once organised, use our website to estimate the cost of scanning based on your number of images and how they are stored. Albums and odd small film strips take more time to prepare and scan. We are happy to do this for you – yet it will be more expensive than standard scanning.
Once your film has been scanned and you have both low resolution images for viewing and high resolution images for archival you might choose to get rid of your film. Be confident of your storage medium – CDs last ~20 years (if you can find a drive to access them in that time), USB sticks are generally stable for decade(s) – yet avoid moisture and magnetic fields. We suggest ALWAYS keep several copies on a few different mediums of your cherished memories and family legacy. Better yet – store a set at home, and another at a different location (just in case of theft, fire, flood – or who knows what!)
Most importantly – enjoy the ease and accessibility of having your film and old memories scanned and on your computer, digital photo frames, DVD movies – or however you choose to see them!
Have other tips or comments about this article? Please let us know. As always, you are welcome and encouraged to share this article.