The objective of this web site is to provide simple guidelines for preserving motion picture film materials outside of specialized archives, with a focus on storage at home.
Right now there are countless reels of movie film on shelves, in drawers, and in attics. The films themselves may be brand new 16mm experimental works or 8mm home movies from the 1930s. They may be dirty and faded or as vivid as the day they were returned from the lab. All types of film have organic components, which, like all organic material, are subject to decay. Over the past several decades, film archives around the world have discovered new techniques for preserving film, but many are prohibitively expensive or complicated for individuals with small collections and limited resources. However, many can be adapted for collections that are stored in homes and studios. This website will focus on the most common types of films found in private collections and give basic information on implementing a practical preservation strategy for film materials. This will include a basic discussion of the main factors that determine the stability of motion picture film, giving recommendations relating to inspection and handling, cleaning and repair, preparation for storage and storage conditions.