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Subject: Nitrate film storage

Nitrate film storage

From: Nathan Bender <alinb>
Date: Tuesday, July 27, 1993
For the long term storage of individual nitrate negatives in paper
envelopes I have been advised by a photographic archivist to use a
frost-free freezer.  There are under 20 cubic feet of these negatives in
our University Archives presently stored at an average of 68-70 degrees
and 20-40% relative humidity ( that is all the climate control
achievable in this building without major additions to our heating and
cooling systems).

At present the condition of the nitrate negative are just beginning to
go downhill, in that images are beginning to fade and a few isolated
negatives have cracked and broken (not gooey or brown dust).  I believe
this to be the Stage One of nitrate film deterioration.

Will storage of these negatives in a frost-free freezer be of any real
help in slowing down their deterioration?  This option is now being very
seriously considered due to concern about the safety of storing them in
the archives at all.  I have been told that a normal freezer is too
humid, but that a frost-free model would be suitable.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 7:16
                  Distributed: Thursday, July 29, 1993
                        Message Id: cdl-7-16-005
Received on Tuesday, 27 July, 1993

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