View Full Version : Preservation of old news negs

Bill Suderman
28-Apr-2011, 14:55
I have resently been handed a shoe box jammed full of my late father-in-law's old negs from his days as a freelance news fotog in El Paso, Texas back in the late 30's, 40's, 50's. (All 4x5, I've logged more than 500 negs and it's hard to tell I've started...will take time but will be interesting.) Being in that business, he typically printed wet, so many of the negs are under-fixed and under-washed. At this time, I'm cataloging each negative for subject and film type. I have just finished setting up a table to begin the wet work, thought I'd take a moment to ask if any of you have done anything like this and might have a suggestion or two getting this done.

The process will be: Load film hangers, 4 up. Pre-wet, fix, rinse, hypo-eliminate, wash, wetting agent, hang to dry.

I'm not sure what I'll find as far as image contant is concerned, but the people are all entering retirement age at this time, so there is historic value for someone...yes, I have several archivists to hookup with lateron.

Thanks for stopping by,
Bill Suderman

29-Apr-2011, 13:04
I wouldn't worry about keeping track of the film type unless that's some sort of clue to the age. I generally find this sort of stuff interesting so thanks for taking it on.

If time is important, it might be faster to drop the film 6 at a time into a combiplan tank's film holder assembly, then you can take them through each step in batches of 6. When you're done, you could sell the combiplans here or ebay for most of what you paid for them.

You're going to have a lot to dry, but I bet they dry fast in NM. Some sort of temporary cabinet to dry them in would be ideal to save space.

I like printfile pages for negatives, but other people have different ways the like to store negatives. I make contact prints (for reference, not display) right through the printfile pages.