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RE: filmscanners: Film base deterioration (was Digital Shortcomings)

Laurie wrote:

>The conclusion that one can draw is that there is no totally permanent 
>archival materials that last forever or, in the case of photographic 
>images, with the certainty [it] will last for centuries no matter what you 

*Stone* is good (particularly granite, basalt, and combinations of the two), 
providing you don't leave them out in the sun, rain, or sandstorms for more 
than 10,000 years. ;-)

At one time, Scribes laboriously re-recorded all the World's Wisdom, and 
placed it in the Library of Alexandria for safekeeping. When the library was 
sacked, and the scrolls were used to heat the baths of the conquerors, that 
was lost, too. "Redundancy" is the only reason we accidentally have any of 
that knowledge remaining today. Any questions?

Best regards--LRA

>From: "laurie" <laurie@advancenet.net>
>Reply-To: filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
>To: <filmscanners@halftone.co.uk>
>Subject: RE: filmscanners: Film base deterioration (was Digital 
>Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 19:42:21 -0500
>Before anyone goes off the deep end on this, it should be remembered that
>this does not necessarily hold true for contemporary films but only for
>films from around the 1960s and 70s or before for the most part.  Thus, for
>images on that film stock, scanning them to CD may be a good idea; but 
>is no need to panic and rush to archiving on CD-R for images on 
>films since the newer film bases may last as long or longer  than the 
>The problem was also recognized with respect to video tapes.  The U.S.
>National archives were given video tapes of the various space adventures in
>the 1960s and 70s by NASA, which were recorded on acetate bases; when the
>Archives opened the sealed cannisters with the video tapes, they found 
>accetate wound around the cores with metalic iron dust on the from the 
>on the bottom of the cannister.  They were totally and permanently lost.
>The conclusion that one can draw is that there is no totally permanent
>archival materials that last forever or, in the case of photographic 
>the with certainty will last for centuries no matter what you do.
>   -----Original Message-----
>   From: owner-filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
>[mailto:owner-filmscanners@halftone.co.uk]On Behalf Of Hersch Nitikman
>   Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2001 3:41 PM
>   To: filmscanners@halftone.co.uk
>   Subject: Re: filmscanners: Film base deterioration (was Digital
>   Thanks very much, Tony. That was quite an education. I guess that has to
>be factored into the discussions of the merits of CD-R archives vs relying
>on the permanence of the original negatives and slides.
>   Hersch
>   At 11:47 PM 06/26/2001, you wrote:
>     On Mon, 25 Jun 2001 13:10:33 -0400  Isaac Crawford (isaac@visi.net)
>     > . B&W
>     > film has far better archival qualities than the color stuff.
>     Oh, you might think so ;) - but see below
>     Nishimura is based at the Rochester Inst. of Technology Image
>     Institute, so appears to know his stuff.
>     It will give anyone who has been taking photos over the past 30yrs the
>     heebie-jeebies...
>     ========
>     Warning: Negative base deterioration
>     If you haven't been using polyester based film (such as Kodak Estar
>     base films), then I expect that most of you won't have any negatives
>     left within a few decades. Let me give you the sad story first before
>     I talk about the whys and hows. I got a call around 1992 or so from
>     Evelyn New York photographer  known for her coffee table books in the
>     1950s and 60s of European cities. She called because she went into
>     her negative collection and found that they were all badly distorted
>     and the emulsions were lifting off. We had been researching this
>     problem since 1988 and were very aware of what the problem was. I had
>     to tell her that her life's work (other than what books and prints
>     were already out in the world) was gone and there was nothing that
>     could be done. A few could be saved by special methods, but it's so
>     labor intensive that of her thousands of negatives, it would only be
>     worth treating a couple.
>     (snip)
>     Douglas Nishimura Research Scientist, Image Permanence Institute
>     Regards
>     Tony Sleep
>     http://www.halftone.co.uk - Online portfolio & exhibit; + film scanner
>     info & comparisons

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