Longterm Storage of Slide Collection

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by ted_wilush, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. I know this question comes up occasionally, but I'd like to hear some opinions unique to this situation.
    I've got several binders of modern medium format Provia and Velvia slides that have been shot recently along with a vintage collection that includes Kodachrome slides and a number of early Ektachromes (1950s) that have some how managed to keep from fading (and I want to keep them that way). I was thinking of putting the whole group in a large rubbermaid bin with some silica packs and keep them all in the fridge. RH is 35-50% at around 7C, which meets the Fuji long term storage suggested conditions. Otherwise they'd be stored in a room that is usually 45-50 RH and 17-22C. Does anyone have any experience with refrigerated storage? Am I taking this a bit too far?
  2. Personally, I stay as far away from the plastic sheets as possible. I'd be feeling that even more in any situation involving refrigeration - think of the possible condensation in those things if you don't warm them up quite enough before opening up - also, a lot of frost condenses out in my freezer even tightly sealed bags and boxes (of course, I do live in a swamp [otherwise known as the Gulf Coast Plain]*).
    The fact that we don't get 45-50 RH here even in subzero weather is not the least of the reasons I simply digitized everything I have ( http://www.photo.net/casual-conversations-forum/00arR1 ). I keep my already-digitized slides in steel slide boxes in groups not packed tight. I do put in some silica gel pacs.
    If you do refrigerate, make very sure the air in the plastic box is dry, really dry, before you do so. I'd check that the container was really airtight too.
    *If mildew were a cash crop, our agricultural economics would be in better shape here.
  3. http://www.kodak.com/global/en/consumer/products/techInfo/e30/e30Slides.shtml
  4. My main concern with the fridge was condensation and moisture. While the RH is only around 30%, I suppose I will need to find an airtight container. The modern stuff I understand is pretty stable, but i don't think there's any reason not to promote increased longevity if I can.
  5. SCL


    I have color slides from the late 1930s on, they have always been stored in lightproof boxes with some air circulation or slide trays. Silica gel packets and closed containers might have provided some additional protection, but in my case I doubt it would have been significant, as the colors (mostly Kodachrome) seem as vibrant as always when occasionally projected, or when I see one which hasn't been scanned and get around to it. Like others, I'd be concerned about refrigeration. Also, honestly, closing anything up for extended periods causes some concern, as most plastics do emit extremely small amounts of gasses over time, and I have no idea what the long term effects might be on treasured negative or positive film bases. I know that cinematographers typically used metal film containers rather than plastic for long term storage.
  6. Thanks, that's a very good point, perhaps refrigeration is not the best idea. So if I had the choice of two locations, one 45% RF and 22C or another 17C and 55% RF which would be best? Does temperature have a higher priority over RF or is it vice-versa?
  7. See Wilhelm's book. Absolutely the best authority, and it's free.
    You can't do cold storage of slides unless you have an absolutely vapor-tight seal around them.
    But, normal air-conditioned room temperature will do fine. It's attics that will destroy the Ektachrome. Friend of mine nigh-ruined a collection of Ektachromes that had lasted over 40 years by storing them in his daughter's attic for a few years.
  8. Constant moderate temperature in PVC sleeves proves to be successful. Kodachrome being the most durable. E6 slides, if there's a color shift goes to magenta, just counter the magenta with green.
  9. Thanks guys, you've talked me out of the fridge idea. I'll keep them in zippered binders in a cabinet to avoid dust and light and ensure humidity and temperature is relatively low and consistent.
  10. But, not in PVC. HDPE is fine, although it melts at a very low temperature in case of fire.
  11. My 6x6 medium format collection and 35mm Old Kodachromes are inserted in archival preservers (manufactured by "PrintFile" and "VueAll") and stored in 3 ring binders (Safe-T-Binder manufactured by Vue-All). Stored at Normal Room Temperature. I know that they will eventualy lose some of the luster despite my best efforts, (although Kodachromes from the 70s' still look awesome today) it is the normal process of "aging" which applies to all things.
    I am also using my Hasselblad Flextight X5 scanner to digitally archive the best of all my slides and negatives. This method of archiving is not to be ignored.
    Now, I have the best of both worlds Analog and Digital.

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