How to store negatives
I have been mulling this over for the last few weeks, and I'm now turning to you to see what you think.
Up until now, I've been storing contact sheets and negatives TOGETHER, with the contact sheet stapled to the negative sleeve, so nothing goes wonky. I've been storing them together in paper boxes (empty of paper of course ), since I've heard that to be a somewhat "archival" method. I just throw a dessicant packet or two in each box to keep the humidity down, if there is any that is that bad.
I've looked at the way that museums I've been to(and able to talk to their documenting and archiving people), they seem to store negatives and contact sheets separately, with a barcode system(at one), and a twin-check type system at most of the rest.
Is there any reason as to store them separately? Maybe Photo Engineer can chime in on this one as to a possible chemical problem over years of storage together down the line?
I've only got negatives back to 2007(when I started shooting film), and so far its about 5 11x14 boxes full categorized by year.
I've been looking at various companies that offer boxes in the 3-5" thickness, and since I've been using 11x14 boxes, I'd go with that size.
Any recommendations, or ideas. Should I go on as I've been doing, or spend the time and some money and get them in "archival" boxes?
help would be appreciated, as I'd like to get this done before starting back at school at the end of the month.
Price is somewhat of a concern, since I'm a student on a REEEEEAAALLLLY tight budget right now.
I'm digging the barcode system though, or a twin check type system. My brain works in the 'grouping' sort of way .
Dan I've always stored negs and proof sheets together for about 40 years with no problem , but one when a few had gotten wet but that was my stupid fault.I have alot of negs from the 20's & 30's my great uncle took that were stored in a shoe box in a garage for 40years which are fine considering their age (they are in glassine envelopes now).Every thing is stored in a metal file cabinet.One thing I would be careful of is that glassine when it gets wet really sticks to the negs when it drys,better to use the plastic type envelops. A lot of those archival boxs are to expensive . Hope that helps.
Speculation, just thinking about use patterns. I would suspect that most reviewing, searching, etc. of the contact sheets results in the vast majority NOT being what is looked for. So you have handling of many contact sheets (which are easily replaced) and minimal handling of negatives (which are really the primary sources).
Originally Posted by DanielStone