Acquisition of the materials (Technical Aspects of Obtaining Original Film
vs. Manifested Digital Copy)
Copyright issues: Statement of Purchase or Donor Letter - acknowledgement and transferring
of the ownership rights (See Creative
Film Inventory Evaluation
Film Title, Date, BW/Color, Sound/Silent, Footage, Time, Format, Condition
Composition of the Film:
Film has three principal components: a support made of a sheet of
transparent plastic, a gelatin emulsion, and an image of color dyes or
Three different types of plastic have been used in film manufacture:
nitrate (1890-1950), acetate (1925-present), and polyester (1960-present).
Nitrate and acetate plastics are prone to chemical decompose, giving off
acids. Polyester plastic is much more chemical stable.
Evaluate the Films
Value determination (legal custody of the materials, date of the
content, genre, subject, and access)
Film risk assessment (format, physical condition, and copy available)
Additional Elements describing audiovisual items (See
Prepare for Manifest
Before manifest, headers and trailers are added to the film. The film is
put on an archival core, and placed in an archival can. Archival cans and
cores made of an inert plastic that will not chemically react with the film.
Archival metal cans are coated with an inert coating that is additionally
The primary benefit of having film transferred to videotape is that video
allows convenient access to the films without subjecting the originals to any
When adding an item to the collection, one of the
important factors is to consider the cost, not only the cost to purchase the
item, but also the cost to preserve the item. Depending on the
production budget, the films today are likely made with high quality films
that will last over hundreds of years. Digitalizing and preserving these
films adds considerable costs to the library budget.
Digital Media is highly dependent on devices/readers/software/operating
New devices, hardware and software are replaced on a cycle of 2 to 5 years
Many of the new digital media are machine dependent. They require a
particular operating system, availability of the reader and specific software
to access these records. The retention of obsolete equipment and software has
maintenance and upkeep costs.
From floppy disks to CD-ROMs and DVDs, to today's the most widely known
forms of data storage are magnetic disk, RAID, Tape, and Optical disk.
Magnetic disk, RAID, and Tape technology are not ideal for long-term archiving
because the data is vulnerable to tampering or damage, either by mistake or
Optical disks, such CDs and DVDs, on the other hand, are more suited for
Migration is a process of transferring digital resources from one
generation to a subsequent generation to avoid the necessity of keeping and
maintaining obsolete equipment and technology. However, this transfer from one
carrier to another may cause data loss; in addition, the data may be altered
to correspond to the system design in the process. It raises a number of
issues such as copyright, authenticity, and reliability.
Migration is time-consuming process; it is costly and much more complex
than simple refreshing. In the migration process, keeping the integrity of
digital objects becomes a critical issue.
Metadata standards are needed to provide sufficient descriptive and
technical information about the digital resources. The properly used metadata
facilitate the long-term access by providing information on the software and
hardware environment of the original digital resources. (See
Dublin Core: simple
Metadata Schema: complex objects)
Information Policy is driving by many factors: Community Analysis, Needs
Assessments, and Open Communication between various stakeholders.
In Library Usage
Consultation and Reference Usage
Resource Sharing (Interlibrary Loan)
User copy will
be shelved in the temporary storage space for public access.
The master print will be stored in the permanent storage space.
The best storage for motion picture film includes appropriate
temperature and humidity conditions and good-quality storage enclosures.
Cold and dry are the best conditions for the storage of film. Under the cold
storage conditions of 40 degrees and 50% relative humidity, vinegar syndrome
does not begin for 350 years. A relative humidity (RH) of 20 to 50% is best
for film storage, with a temperature that is as cool as possible.
Preservation vs. Access
There is a delicate balance in ensuring the
materials will be preserved over time while granting access to the public at the
same time. Multimedia materials are much more expensive than other type of media
materials, it's expensive to make, produce, and reproduce over time.
Access adds wear and tear to the collection. Preservation staff sets up guideline and
collaborate with the collection access staffs to minimize the damages to the
Disaster prevention and recovery
To plan a disaster prevention and recovery program, the first thing is to
set priority on what to save, and whom to contact. After that, it is a matter
of following procedures in responding to the disaster (water, temperature,
air, electrical, transporting, and other unforeseeable damage to the
Finally, here are some of the important questions to ask for any
Who are our audiences?
What are they using the collection for?
Where are they?
Where are they accessing the collection information?
How are we currently delivering the service?
How can we improve our service?
This quick write-up is primarily focused on Film Archives. The
following are some of the links for interested parties, by no means they are
exclusive. I have very-limited knowledge in Film Making or Film Archiving.
I had a very-brief opportunity in the past handling film materials,
describing film records (project-based). However, I had quite extensive
personal experience (non-commerce-related; this is a hobby site) in digitalization (conversion of
audio-video tapes, authorizing CDs, VCDs, and DVDs, storing music/video clips in mobile
devices, as well as back-up digital files in CDs/DVDs).