Out of the Attic: Preserving Your Treasures

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The presentation for our special Preservation Week ETBB, Out of the Attic: Preserving Your Treasures. This is an introduction to preserving your physical objects and the process of digitizing photos, audio, documents, and film.

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Out of the Attic: Preserving Your Treasures

  1. 1. Out of the Attic:Preserving Your Treasures Briscoe Library 27 April 2011
  2. 2. Objectives•To show the causes of deterioration of books, papers, and photosand discuss basic preservation practices•To discuss digitization as a form of preserving your items•To provide hints on the curation and preservation of digitalcollections
  3. 3. Biological and Microbial Causes of Deterioration•Silverfish, cockroaches, beetles – eat gelatin emulsions and papersin photos and books or documents•Termites – eat wood fiber in paper•Rodents – eat gelatin emulsions, glues and papers. Use shreddedpaper as nesting materials.•Mold and Fungi – paper and gelatin emulsions providenutrients. Can cause images and print to fade or be obliterated.
  4. 4. Insect found by rare books
  5. 5. Termite damaged books
  6. 6. Mold damage to records
  7. 7. Environmental Conditions•Relative humidity - interacts with temperature to createdamage. Frequent fluctuation most damaging. In general,–Too high (> 75⁰ F. and 60% RH) causes mold, mildew, acceleratedharmful chemical reactions from residual chemicals or acidic inks,softening of gel emulsions in photographs or glossy book coverscausing sticking, warping due to thickened papers, bleeding of text.–Too low (< 15% RH) causes drying resulting in cracking, peeling,brittleness of papers and photos and rolling of photographs.
  8. 8. Mold in an attic, near picturesDont store books or photos in attics or basements
  9. 9. Book warped by humidity, possible water damage
  10. 10. Disasters such as fires and flooding cause mold, water damage, and total destruction
  11. 11. Book damaged by roof leak, then freeze dried to remove water. Readable but stained. Mold prevented.
  12. 12. Light•Ultraviolet light and light in the violet-blue-green area in bothunfiltered natural sunlight and florescent lighting are most active indamaging materials by speeding up damaging chemical reactions,especially to paper and film bases.•Light also causes fading to color prints, inked captions, hand coloredphotos, and other light sensitive media.•Damage caused by light is cumulative and irreversible. Degree ofdamage depends on intensity and length of exposure.•Store valuable photos in boxes, not frames. Display in frames withUV protective glass.
  13. 13. Damage to Declaration of Independence fromexposure to light. (No document is immune.)
  14. 14. 1847 document with damage from light, heat and mishandling. Yellowing & fading of text, brittleness, tears
  15. 15. Fading of print and yellow due to light damage
  16. 16. Light damaged vs. protected documents
  17. 17. Picture yellowed and faded from being on display Note the gradual fading of the nurses
  18. 18. Yellowing of label after one year due to unfiltered fluorescent light
  19. 19. Chemical DamageNatural aging - Organic materials (paper, plastics, textiles, dyes andinks, leather, fur, etc.) undergo a spontaneous long term slowchemical reaction. This causes damage in books, records, photos,scrapbooks, etc.•The rate of the aging depends on the temperature and humiditywhere the materials are stored.• Higher temperatures and humidity speed up the chemical process.•Cooler temperatures slow it down.•Rusting and other chemical reactions in metals are also affected.
  20. 20. Acidity in paper - 1914 document with brittleness andbrowning due to acid content resulting from natural aging
  21. 21. Newsprint is the worst as it is so highly acidicnaturally. Preserve by photocopying on acid free, lignin free paper or interleave scrapbooks.
  22. 22. Rust damage from metal fasteners (foxing)
  23. 23. The rust on this old film reel endangers the contents
  24. 24. Highly acidic iron gall inkbleeds through and eats holesin paper over time.
  25. 25. Book binding damaged by aging and heavy use, resulting in broken stitching.Box to give protection to book bindings
  26. 26. "Red rot" on leather bindingdue to aging
  27. 27. Mirroring -A chemical reactionthat causesloss of pigment
  28. 28. Mechanical DamageMistreating books, records, and photos also causesdamage. Carelessness in shelving, boxing, or marking can result inphysical damage to spines and bookcaps of books or layers ofphotos.•Never pull old books from shelf by the top. Push in books on eitherside and grasp middle of spine.•Never use sticky tape, glue, rubber cement, staples, or clips to repairor arrange books, photos, or records you intend to keep a long time.•Never mark on photos with ink. Use #2 pencil or special bluecolored pencils. Mark only on margins on back or label sleeve, notphoto.
  29. 29. Broken bookcapin 1842 book
  30. 30. Warping can be caused by poor horizontal and vertical shelvingAvoid warping: Dont shelve/lay taller/largerbooks on shorter/smaller volumes.
  31. 31. Don’t lean book on shelves,this can break spines or warp books.Use book ends and don’t crowd.
  32. 32. Dog earing weakens paper fibers
  33. 33. Will this clip damage the photo?
  34. 34. Yes! (Ouch.)
  35. 35. Staple piercing photo and negative in enclosure
  36. 36. Picture damage due topoor frame and matting
  37. 37. Dont use non-archival adhesives The acid they contain eventually migratesto the papers fibers, causing stains and deterioration.
  38. 38. Use of sticky tape and label on back of photgraph
  39. 39. -Physical damage from other photosor objects.-Don’t mix photos ofdifferent sizes in boxes.-Protect photos with stable plasticor acid free photo enclosures.
  40. 40. DigitizationFrom Physical to Digital
  41. 41. Lossy vs Lossless Compression• Lossy Compression o Can be used on all digital media: audio, video, and still images o Called lossy compression because as the data is compressed it discards some of the data
  42. 42. Lossy CompressionCompressedto the point thatit is almostunrecognizable.
  43. 43. Lossless Compression• Allows exact originals to be reconstructed from the compressed data.• The data is compressed in a way that none of the information is thrown out.• Can decompress and all of the data will still be in place.• Important when you want to keep the item for long-term storage.
  44. 44. PhotographyLossy Formats JPG, HAM, ICER, JPG-2000, JBIG2, PGF, GIFLossless Formats TIFF, ILBM, JBIG-2, JPG-LS, JPG-2000, JPG- XR, PGF, PNG
  45. 45. Types of Photographs Slides i.e. Kodachrome Made famous by kodak film company. Glass Slides Special chemicals had to be placed on these glass slides for photos to be taken on. Usually for large format images. Negatives Roll of film. This style came in a variety of sizes. The 35 mm being the most common. Photographs The printed copies of the film negatives. The size of these are based on the negatives.
  46. 46. Slides i.e. Kodachrome
  47. 47. Glass Slides
  48. 48. Negatives
  49. 49. Prints
  50. 50. EquipmentFlatbed Scanner:• Photographs• Slides• Negatives• Glass slides
  51. 51. EquipmentDesktop Film Scanner• Film• Negatives
  52. 52. Special Considerations• Condition of the Media: o Visibly worn, torn, or faded• Do the best you can do: o You are not a professional studio o Attempt to digitize to the largest ratio possible o Follow the minimal requirements• Minimal Requirements: o Color copies 48-bit depth o Black & White 16 bit-depth o Keep a TIFF
  53. 53. Video Digitization• This is the most expensive format to convert Lossy H.261, H.263, H.264, MNG, Motion JPG, MPEG-1,2,4, OGG, Dirac, Sorenson video codec, VC-1 Lossless AVI, CorePNG, Dirac, JPG-2000, Huffyuv, Lagarith, MSU, SheerVideo
  54. 54. VHS
  55. 55. Betamax
  56. 56. Film
  57. 57. DVD
  58. 58. Laser Disk
  59. 59. Equipment Required• All items that are digitized are going to require software to be installed on the machine. o Freeware software: Windows Movie Maker (PC), and QuickTime (Mac) o High-end software: Adobe Premiere Pro (Mac/PC), and Final Cut Pro (Mac only)• Each media type is going to require different equipment to be used.
  60. 60. VHS• Hardware required: o Composite cable, S-Video, USB, and Firewire o VHS to DVD Burner or VHS to PC
  61. 61. Film• Recognize the film size• It is the most expensive item to digitize, with machines costing 1,000-10,000+• Best to find specialist that deal with this digitization• Questions to ask when getting your films digitized: o Do you use lossless methods? o Do you provide archival quality dvds? o Can I bring in my harddrive for direct storage?
  62. 62. Betamax• Machines that read Betamax are harder to find• Costly to purchase machines that digitize• Better to send these off for digitization
  63. 63. DVD• Probably have all the equipment you need at your home• CD/DVD burner, and PC with software installed• When digitizing attempt to digitize the item at the same rate it was encoded in: o 40 Mbit/s is the highest quality o 8-15 HDTV o 3.5 standard definition video
  64. 64. AudioLossy AAC, MP3, ADPCM, ATRAC, Dolby AC3, MP2, OGG, WMALossless FLAC, WAV, ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codac), apt-X, ATRAC, MGP-4 ALS, HD-AAC, DST, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD, LPCM, PCM, MLP, Monkey’s Audio, OptimFROG, RealAudio, Shorten SHN, TTA, WavPack, WMA Lossless
  65. 65. Records• Turntable that allows FLAC or WAV conversion• Laser needle for less chance of damage• MP3 conversion for daily use
  66. 66. Cassette• Tape player• Y Stereo adapter cable with an RCA style channel connectors• Audio software: VLC Media Player, WinAmp, iTunes, etc.
  67. 67. CD• CD/DVD burner• Items can be burnt at higher rate than tapes because of encoding• Software:VLC Media Player, WinAmp, iTunes, etc
  68. 68. Items to Consider• Always digitize at the highes bit rate possible: o Cassettes:  128 kps for audiobooks  256 for music o Records:  320 kps for mp3  320 kps minimum for WAV and FLAC o CD:  most are encoded as an mp3 at 120-320 kps  Consider burning them onto your machine as WAV or FLAC
  69. 69. Contact Ushttp://www.library.uthscsa.edu/http://twitter.com/uthsclibhttp://www.facebook.com/uthsclibFor more reading on preserving your treasures, view ourdelicious list:http://www.delicious.com/tag/uthsclib+preservation

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