In recent times it has become clear that plastic photographic and reel-to-reel audio tape collections need to be frozen if they are to remain in their current condition and not deteriorate further. BS 4971:2017 Conservation & Care of Archive & Library Collections covers storage environment standards for these collection types and following a careful consideration of research and publications it is recognised now that cooled storage, above zero Centigrade, will not preserve acetate plastic negatives, slides and cine film.
Digital copying is a good way of ensuring that users can access this material, but to make it last it needs to be frozen; BS4971 proposes storage at -20C and low RH microclimate packaging. Digitisation does not have to happen before freezing - if you have large quantities of such material and it will take many years to get them copied and catalogued, you need to freeze the material now so that, when you are ready to copy it, it will still be in a usable state fit to be copied. We have the facility to protect your material in a dedicated cold storage area, alongside our other archival storage services. Material needs to be suitably conditioned and packaged for freezing and we have set up a secure conditioning store where collections can come before being re-packaged and placed in the freezer.
We have worked with Conservation Resources to establish a collaborative cold storage scheme at Upper Heyford, we can take acetated plastic material and condition, package and place it in deep freeze storage.
For more information, contact us.