Preservation and technical services

Unfortunately, all audiovisual materials can deteriorate. They require conservation and sometimes transfer to updated formats.

To help safeguard and provide access to the collection, the NFSA has leading-edge technical facilities and teams of expert technicians, skilled in handling all audiovisual media. We are acknowledged as a centre of excellence and world leader in scientific archival research.

Every collection is different and has its own needs. Our preservation expertise is available to help you with advice and training on preservation strategy and planning, audiovisual collection handling, reformatting, restoration, compilation, production, scientific archival research, risk assessment, disaster management, conservation treatments and rare equipment maintenance. This is available to other government and industry bodies, private institutions and individuals on a fee for service basis.

Have you got a collection of films or audio recordings that need duplicating? There are commercial entities that can help you with this. We can help you find options available in Australia to achieve the outcomes you are requiring.

Sometimes though specialist archival facilities and expertise are required to get the best possible outcome for your collection item. Contact us and we can ascertain whether or not your collection item needs our specialist intervention. This is considered on a case by case – usually on a fee for service basis. Some of the specialist archival services we can provide are below.

Film preservation services

Our film services team repairs, cleans and copies motion picture material. This includes films of all gauges, from 8mm to 35mm. Damaged, shrunken or brittle film in particular requires specialist treatment and equipment.

Work on both Nitrate and Acetate based films includes:

  • comparing copies of the same motion picture film to see which is the most complete and in the best condition for preservation
  • assessing and repairing damaged motion picture film
  • researching footage to identify its content or origin.

Black & white motion picture laboratory

Many films are also copied or duplicated in our printing and processing laboratory. This involves:

  • grading film to correct variations in exposure
  • printing film to copy the original image and sound on to new polyester stock processing to develop film
  • processing to develop film
  • quality checking all duplicated material

Still image services

Still images associated with our audiovisual industries—such as photos, strip negatives, scripts, publicity material—are an important resource for researchers, broadcast producers and many other clients. The work of our expert team dealing with still images services includes:

  • digitising still image items
  • repackaging still image materials
  • quality checking all duplicated material.

Audio services

Sound recordings range from early cylinders and Lacquer disc to digital audio tapes, compact discs and 'born online’ content. Our audio services work involves:

  • cleaning, repackaging, repairing and reconstructing damaged sound recordings
  • restoring and rejuvenating sound recordings using special archival treatments
  • reproducing sound recordings
  • copying content using analogue or digital noise reduction systems that restore and enhance the sound to its original quality
  • training in audio archiving and providing technical and specialist advice.

Video and telecine services

Our video and Telecine services experts handle a range of contemporary and obsolete video formats, including two-inch, U-matic, one-inch C format, analogue and Digital betacam, DVCAM and DVCPro25, as well as domestic formats like VHS, S-VHS, Hi-8, Betamax and J-format.
Services provided by the team include:

  • assessing and restoring tape condition, using specialised treatments
  • copying and duplication
  • transferring, compiling and program editing.

Expert Telecine services are also available to transfer 8mm, super 8mm, 9.5mm, 16mm, 28mm and 35mm film to video, including shrunken or damaged film material.

Contact us for more information.