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Store and preserve old negatives

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  • Store and preserve old negatives

    I've discovered some old negatives, most of them back and white, which belonged to my mother-in-law. At the moment they are all thrown loose in a cardboard box, which is how I found them. I know this is not the right way to store them but I'm not sure of the correct way to store and preserve these negatives. Any suggestions would be most welcome.

  • #2
    Any good camera shop should have sleeves and pages for storing negatives. Just make sure they're acid-free and archival. I also don't like the glossy plastic ones, as they tend to stick (not a good thing). Light Impressions also has a good selection if you don't have a local shop.
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    • #3
      Thanks Doug

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      • #4
        Some Vendors advertise low cost sleeves that are made with vinyl as having no PVC's and therefore safe for negatives - avoid them at all costs!!! They can wrinkle at relatively low levels of heat and ruin your negs.

        While you are in the Light Impressions catalog - consider the clips that slide across the top of the sleeves for use in regular "hanging file" office drawers - we have found this is the best way to store negatives. You can pull them a sleeve at a time as needed without the damage that they can get trying to take them in and out of ring binders.

        Jim Conway
        Timemark Photo Conservators

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        • #5
          Thanks Doug and Jim,unfortunately Light Impressions don't currently ship to Australia but I found a supplier of archival negative sleeves in Sydney the order should arrive after Easter.
          Tim, they had the hanging storage sleeves so I've ordered those ones, they are a great idea and will be easier for me to store than a ring binder as I have plenty of space in my filing cabinet.
          My next job is to scan some of those negatives so that I can see what I've found. Some of the negatives ate very light and I don't hold much hope for them but I'll save what I can.
          Thank you both for your help it put me on the right path.

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          • #6
            We could use some good supplier links for Australia (and other non-US countries) in our links database. Specify which country in the description, and it could be very useful to many fellow citizens.
            Learn by teaching
            Take responsibility for learning

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            • #7
              Sandra,

              I don't know what kind of scanner you have, but I found two old B&W negs that I couldn't get a decent scan from. Then I downloaded Vuescan software for my scanner, and I haven't found anything yet that I don't get a decent scan from. I have quite a few old, very light negs that scan very well.

              Ed

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              • #8
                Doug,
                Good idea, I'll scout around and let you know what sort of links are available to us here in Australia.
                Ed,
                I've just got a new scanner an Epson 1650p, I'm pretty new to negative scanning so your suggestion is very helpful, I'll download Vuescan and give it a try. The only other problem I seem to be having is the adaptor(the negative/slide carrier) is a bit small for the negatives(the largest is 4 3/4" x 2 3/4") and so far I'm having to scan them in sections but I've been surprised at the quality of some of them so far. Do you know of any other way?

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                • #9
                  My scanner takes up to a 5 X 7 neg, so I don't have a problem with size. Sorry I can't be much help. I think you'll like Vuescan, but you won't be able to get useable scans until you pay for the software. You will however be able to see exactly what the software will do for you. Take the time to read the documentation that comes with it. It's time well spent.

                  Ed

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