Vinegar Syndrome… Is your Microfilm Archive in a pickle?

Prior to 1984, acetate film was used for microfilm conversion. What was not known at that time is that without proper environmental, humidity and temperature controls for the storage of the film archives, the film would have limited lifetime. “Vinegar Syndrome” was discovered about 10 years after the first use of acetate film for scanning – around 1958. This syndrome (the film emits a acidy, vinegar smell…thus the name), is an indicator that the film is breaking down. The film becomes brittle and shrinks which distorts the images. Quality of film suffers and important information is less readable.
The latest in film scanning technology has come to the rescue to preserve old acetate film. Today’s high speed film scanners continue to evolve and new challenges in film and fiche scanning come to light. The ability to preserve images on acetate film thru film scanning and brand new technology released by nextScan called Virtual Film are a few of the many ways that these products are being used to preserve our past and make information more readily available for future generations.
Joe Merkel


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