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How to Look After Your Films

MACE recognise that many people do not wish to deposit material in a public collection. We're happy to look after material for you but if you decide to hold on to it, here are some golden rules.

Copy the original material...

...Copying the original material will make your collection easier to view and will mean that the fragile film or tape is protected from over use, which could easily damage it.

Copying should be carried out by a reputable company...

...Many organisations offering to transfer your unique film and video tape to DVD care little for the original material. The original is both the best quality and, in the case of film, the most stable medium for long term preservation. Instruct the organisation that is conducting the copying to return the originals to you.
 
Never throw the original film or video away...
 

...If the original is disposed of and the copy lost or damaged then the images are lost forever.
 
The original film or tape should only be used to make copies...
 

...Minimising the use of original materials, particularly film, will reduce the chance of damage.
 
If you do project original film then ensure that the projection equipment is maintained and cleaned regularly...
 
...Dirty equipment could seriously damage your film.
 
Keep the original film or tape in a stable environment...
 
...Fluctuations in temperature and humidity, as would be found in the typical loft or garage, can damage both film and tape.
 
Keep film as dry and cold as you can manage to maintain stably...
 
...High humidity will encourage the growth of mould and high temperatures will promote deterioration.
 
Keep all moving image materials (film, tape, DVD) in clean containers...
 

...Containers should be rust free and ideally not cardboard.

Remove any paper held in the container with the film or tape...

...However, keep all paperwork that relates to the moving images in a safe place.

Do not store magnetic tape in the same container as film...

...Magnetic tape can act as a catalyst and accelerate the deterioration of film.

Film should be stored with reels lying flat and not on their edge...

 

...The entire film is therefore supported from underneath.

Tape should be stored with cassettes upright (like a book) and not lying flat...

..Weight from other tapes can cause distortions.

Contact Us...

...We would be very happy to provide further advice on how to look after your own film and video collections or discuss the possibility of looking after your original material once you have had it copied. Although we would prefer you to deposit your material at MACE for safe keeping we would consider the possibility of copying your material for transfer fee despite the originals not being deposited with us.

Please contact us to discuss further, either by email or telephone 01522 837750.