Filming Kennedy: Home Movies from Dallas

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Film Preservation

Storing Film

Tools of the Trade

The terms that follow provide details about the tools that conservators and film preservationists use to protect and work with films.

Storing Film

Archival marker: Archival markers are used to write labels on film canisters or for making notes on leader film. They are designed to write on a variety of surfaces.

Core: A core is a small disc on which film is wound for storage. Film should be wound evenly and tightly around its core.

Cleaning Film

Leader film: Leader is blank film that is attached at the beginning and end of a film roll to make handling easier. Leader film can also be used to separate short films or shots on a single film roll. Leader film is also a place to write a label identifying the film.

White cotton gloves: These are worn over hands to protect film from dirt and oils found on the fingertips. Use of cotton gloves helps to minimize smudging and scratching of the film.

Film canister: This container is used to store film. Film canisters are made from various materials, but vented plastic canisters allow air to circulate around stored film while keeping moisture, dust and pests out.

Handling Film

Cleaning Film

Film cleaner: This chemical is used to remove dirt, oil, dust or wax from the surface of the film (without damaging the film emulsion). Commercial cleaners can be toxic, so it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe usage.

Cotton tipped applicator and cotton pads: These tools are used to apply film cleaner, and for cleaning or lubricating viewing equipment. Lint-free cotton tools work best.

Handling Film

Micro spatula: This versatile tool can be used to lift, apply or mend. Its ends can be bent and shaped for specific projects. It is available in even smaller sizes for very delicate work.

Tweezers: Using this tool while handling film protects it from dirt and oils found on the fingertips. Tweezers are helpful when doing detailed work with small film formats such as 8mm and Super 8.

White cotton gloves: These are worn over hands to protect film from dirt and oils found on the fingertips. Use of cotton gloves helps to minimize smudging and scratching of the film.