Preserve history.

For most us, whether you are a small business, large corporation, or an individual wanting to preserve an irreplaceable asset in your film library, the careful archiving of these files is crucial. Calgary Archives’ Film and Sound Archiving Service helps you preserve and protect these important assets from loss, fire or poor storage conditions.

Don’t let a natural disaster destroy memories and damage your media. If a disaster has already occurred, however, these points may help in the event of disaster (please contact our office if in doubt):

Emergency Recovery of Magnetic/Tape Media

Magnetic/tape media includes VHS tapes, cassette tapes, cartridge backup tapes, floppy discs, audio and video tapes, reel to reel tapes, and motion pictures:

  • When possible, determine whether undamaged backup tapes or discs are available. It is far more practical to recover data from backup tapes than it is to salvage damaged media.
  • Wear cotton or latex gloves to prevent skin contact with magnetic media. Do not unwind or rewind.
  • Remove media from enclosures, sleeves or cases. Separate wet and dry media. If water has condensed inside cassette cases, assume the tape is wet too.
  • Promptly rinse media exposed to mud, sewage, or sea water with clear tap water.
  • Keep media wet so that contaminates will not dry/adhere to magnetic surface. Media can safely remain wet in cold clean water for several days. Seal wet media in plastic bags to prevent evaporation.

Emergency Recovery of Film Materials

The following media should be rinsed if exposed to mud, sewage, or sea water with clear tap water, and should be packed and sealed in plastic and frozen immediately. Do not attempt to separate if adhered:

  • Negatives, including acetate and chromogenic negatives
  • Transparencies
  • Microforms
  • Microfilms and diazo microfilm in rolls or jackets (do not remove from boxes or jackets)
  • Aperture cards
  • Silver gelatin printing out and developing out papers
  • Where freezing is recommended, determine appropriate follow-up drying procedure.

Calgary Archives offers off-site, secure, and affordable film and tape archiving in our climate-controlled. fire-resistant media vault.

Your media can be ready for retrieval and delivery to you upon request.
Contact us today for more information.


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