Even under the most optimal conditions, most film isn’t built to last. Printed photos and older footage have an even shorter storage life. For many archived materials, any handling outside of that perfectly maintained environment can drastically reduce the expected lifespan. So what can you do to protect your archives?
Start scanning and copying before the data materials are too fragile.
One of the worst paradoxes of data storage when it comes to antique and historical items is when the original or a reliable copy still exists but is too fragile to duplicate. It’s an irreversible problem that can leave you and your department choosing between guaranteed destruction and partial recovery or long-term maintenance with no chance for backup copies. That’s why it’s imperative to copy what you can when you can.
Modern digital scans solve multiple problems. Copies can be made from copies with smaller and smaller margins of error, allowing backups to be made indefinitely. It also means that the original or the oldest copies can be shifted to an archive. Public libraries and the Internet can still hold less valuable duplications for study and entertainment.
What’s the best way to scan historical footage?
The best way to save microfilm and microfiche is with digital scanning. The details and complexity of everything from text to photographs can be captured with only a fraction of the space the original media would have needed. Each frame and square inch of film is also carefully cleaned of dust.
New strides are being made in storage materials, the degree of detail captured, and the amount of data that digital archives can hold. If you have materials that need to be transferred, or your department has archival microfiche that you want to be updated to more recent materials, go to Advanced Media Integration here to get the most efficient and effective scans.
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