Film Preservation Techniques

6 Sep
Film reel, Film & Media Archive, Washington University. Photo by Alison Carrick.

Film reel, Film & Media Archive, Washington University. Photo by Alison Carrick.

The British Film Institute National Archive has a series of videos on its website that give a great overview of film preservation and restoration techniques. Take a virtual tour of the BFI’s labs and view the techniques and standard practices used by film archivists in the links below.

BFI National Archive’s Dry Lab

The clip investigates the essential processes that take place in the BFI National Archive’s Dry Lab, in which technical archivists examine, repair, and prepare films for exhibition and storage in the BFI Vaults.

BFI National Archive’s Wet Lab

This clip investigates the essential processes that take place in the BFI National Archive’s Wet Lab, which ensures that films are in an optimal state to be shown and enjoyed, creating crucial new copies of restored or preserved films.

Nitrate Film at the BFI

The BFI holds the largest collection of nitrate film stock in the world, extending the life of this now retired medium. Highly combustible and unstable, the BFI has developed a range of measures to ensure these rare nitrate assets are safe from potential degradation.

Long Live Film: Nitrate Season

 Here Head Curator Robin Baker at BFI discusses one of the pivotal projects associated with the anniversary, the very rare and exclusive projection of nitrate film, and outlines in detail the historical importance of the format and the difficulties involved in its maintenance.

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