Conservator holds paper photograph up against digital copy of same photograph

Still Images

Collections Conservation – Still Images

Part of Collections Conservation

The NFSA’s still image collection includes over 90,000 photographs, 80,000 transparencies, 8,000 posters, 7,000 negatives, and many more items such as glass slides, strip negatives, printed scripts and publicity material.

This significant collection of non-audiovisual items supports and complements the NFSA’s film, sound and broadcast material. Still images are an important resource for researchers, broadcast producers, filmmakers, advertisers and publicists.

The work of our expert imaging specialists, part of our Collections Conservation team, includes:

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

In addition to providing timely and efficient response to client requests, our imaging specialists are responsible for:

  • analogue copying (photographic reproduction) upon request
  • repackaging and relabelling still image items using archival quality packaging materials
  • ensuring an accurate physical and intellectual description of the item, including a condition assessment where appropriate, is entered in the NFSA collection database
  • digitising material on loan for copying.

Handling the collection

Equipment used by the team includes:

  • Sinar medium format digital cameras for large and fragile documents
  • Kodak IQ Smart flatbed Scanners for paper based digitisation up to A3 size
  • Nikon film scanner for 35mm film.

Why digitise?

By creating digital surrogates of items from our documentation collection we can reduce the risk of damage to the original item resulting from frequent access. It also provides us with a back-up copy of the original, which serves as a partial record if the original is ever lost. Digitisation provides a visual display format for easy use on our website and online catalogue, providing easier access to, and use of, items in the collection.

Digital restoration

Master copies are not manipulated - they represent the original item as accurately as possible including flaws. Co-master or derivative files can be manipulated as required. For example, if a water-stained still image is required for publication, we can utilise software to reduce or remove the marks.