Motion Picture Film – Deteriorated

Deterioration that can be detected without putting the film on rewinds can include warping, tears, dirt, mold, and acetate decay (aka vinegar syndrome, where a strong odor of vinegar is present).


Always store film flat. If the film came wrapped in plastic, remove the plastic. Label the can with a Sharpie on the can’s top and side. Any documents accompanying the film within the can should be foldered. If replacing the can, photocopy the original label and tape it to the new can.

At-Minimum Housing

Transfer film on reel to 3″ plastic core, put in a non-deteriorated can. Store in cool storage at LSC.

Typical Housing

Core film and place in archival (vented) can. Store in cool storage at LSC.

High-End Housing

Test film for acidity using A/D strips. Core film, ID film leader, and place in archival (vented) plastic can with dessicant. If severely deteriorating or if the film is high-value, consider freezing.

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