Still image collection

The NFSA’s still image collection include 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.

Paper and stills team

The NFSA processes still-related requests from a variety of external clients, ranging from providing a small digital image from the database to organising a full-size reproduction of a large poster. 

The work of our expert Paper and Stills 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, the Paper and Stills team is 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

Paper and Stills have two scanning workstations:

  • a Nikon Super Coolscan 40, a high resolution film scanner for 35mm transparencies and film strips
  • an A3 size flatbed document scanner with multiple format capacity.

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 Photoshop software to reduce or remove the marks.