Kane in Continuity


           Our collection consists of both 8x10 photographs (prints) and 8x10 (cellulose acetate) negatives. While it was common during the 1940s to capture these images with large format cameras, these materials are unique because of their unusually large 8x10 size; the 8x10 format was one of the largest sizes produced by large format cameras, the most common being 4x5 (any imaging larger than and including 4x5 inches constitutes a large format image). While large format cameras had the advantage of producing products with higher resolution, they are also some of the earliest developed cameras, and as such it was common to print negatives in large formats too. Large format photography historically and presently is used for a large number of purposes including landscape, advertising, and fine art photography. 8x10 photography was not only important in preserving the films sets like this collection, but were also useful marketing tools. These dual purposes made the rare 8x10 photographs and negatives a valuable tool for Hollywood. “Motion pictures, in short, were often sold with still pictures alone – such is ‘the importance of the stillman and his 8 x 10 camera in the cinema industry.’”

           The size and subject matter of our materials mark these photos as important, and as such, these images and negatives deserve the best digitization and preservation possible. While a majority of our collection came to us relatively intact, a number of negatives have suffered some of the damages of time, and are now warped and or ailing from vinegar syndrome (a chemical reaction resulting in the formation of acetic acid build up over time). By focusing on the digital preservation of these materials in conjunction with supplementing better storage practices for the physical material (new folders and the separation of negatives and prints) our team is looking forward at the future usability and impact of this collection. Through our digital surrogates our aim is to preserve and make useful these images for a duration longer than the physical material stands to last.

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