Tom Fine wrote:
> This is an interesting statement. Slides might point out some of the
> pitfalls of preservation media. As I said, all those Kodachromes my
> parents and even a few from my grandparents (they weren't into
> photography as much) have been stored under good conditions in boxes and
> projector carousels all these years. The color is still vivid and almost
> 3D it's so sharp. Meanwhile, the albums of color prints have faded
> considerably, just sitting on the shelf. And most of the framed color
> pictures are severely faded. But, to this day, it's the albums my
> brothers and I -- or my brother's kids -- will pick up and enjoy. Why?
> Who has time to dig out the slide projector and set up the screen and
> sit around and go thru carousel after carousel. Hence the desire to
> digitized everything and have it randomly-accessible on DVDR or CDR or
> hard drives or all three or some combo.
Permit me to suggest once again that failure to resolve the functions of
the archive (and of the archivist) can lead to a trap. More precisely,
an archive is not a library - a library is not an archive. The obvious
difference between them is accessibility; its corollary is reproducibility.
Imbibition prints and true Kodachrome slides are the most durable color
photo schemes we know with Cibachrome a more practical compromise and
color separation rather a different process. Cost and unavailability
force compromises, but an archive should aim for preservation of the
material it can obtain. That entails restricting access in numbers and
in environment. In contrast, a library subject to similar constraints
will choose one or more formats which provide most practical access;
fidelity to the master is generally less important.
Even if both the library and the archive are to provide digital
reproduction, their different objectives will dictate different
solutions. Resolution, color fidelity, organization and other factors
will lead to different solutions for different uses. A library's
DVD-Video of Italian painting of the Renaissance might have a wide
audience for a tour offering what amount to postcard-size images to fill
a television screen. The counterpart in the archive might be a DVD-ROM
with a fraction of the number of images each of which takes perhaps a
hundred times the space and contains a color reference - at least a bar
Of course, on this list we are aware of that distinction in audio. I
trust that no one seriously suggests limiting an archive to 44/16 or
trying to distribute 96/24 sound to the general public.
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