Preservation

Photographic Imaging, Microfilm and Textual Preservation Lab

The goal of the Photographic Imaging, Microfilm and Textual Preservation Lab is to provide appropriate digital, and where appropriate, hard copy products to assure access to NARA’s still photograph, text-based and object/artifact collections as well as to provide the needed services and expertise to assist NARA staff and other stakeholders in dealing with these collections at the technical level.

The specific original source material record types covered in this document are:

  • aerial photograph negatives and film positives
  • aerial photograph prints
  • objects and artifacts
  • still photograph film and camera originals
  • still photograph prints
  • textual and cartographic records

The Photographic Imaging, Microfilm and Textual Preservation Lab supports analog-to-analog and analog-to-digital reformatting workflow for both preservation and distribution purposes for all formats. The lab specializes in reformatting static materials of all types - the Photographic Imaging team uses photographic technology to create realistic, original size copies while the Microfilm and Textual Preservation team uses micrographic technology to create reduced size or limited color range copies. While most capture processes are now digital, some hard-copy output options continue specifically in microfilm, aerial film and facsimile prints.

The Photographic Imaging, Microfilm and Textual Preservation Lab has developed a suite of products to satisfy the demands of different source material as well as distribution outlets. Selection of an appropriate product or set of products is a collaborative process between archival and technical staff.

In complement to the products produced, Photographic Imaging, Microfilm and Textual Preservation Lab staff also provide a variety of essential services and expertise which support the archival process across NARA and the broader community.

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