Dealing with disaster

Image from Sally Jackson's blog

Decomposing nitrate film has eaten away the metal edges of the film reel.

Approximately 40,000 reels of colour film held in a temporary store at the National Library of Australia become damaged because of a malfunctioning air conditioning system. The Minister seeks $4 million of emergency funding to pay for treating every affected reel. Most of the films in the NFSA collection are held on a voluntary deposit by producers and include original negatives of some of Australia’s best known feature and documentary films.

The NFSA commences a two-year Collection Management Project (‘COMAT’) to improve collection control and risk management. Staff are redeployed from other activities to examine and accession collection material and a large central repository for preservation materials is commissioned and fitted out.

After two years, the collection is under inventory control and relocated to acceptable storage and full NFSA services are resumed.

NFSA blog: The mysteries and dangers behind a film collection