A Discussion of Cold Storage Theory and Practice for Photographic and Paper-based Records

Storing photographic films, prints, and other paper-based records at low temperature invites the inevitable risk/benefit analysis. What preservation goals can be achieved? How physically safe are the materials? How hard is it to implement? How much does it cost? How restricted is access to the collection? There can be positive answers for all these questions even for small institutions with limited staff and financial resources. One can start small and scale cold storage projects over time if basic concepts are understood. This presentation will also include practical tips and tricks for measuring, monitoring, and passive climate control using sealed cold storage methods.


Mark McCormick-GoodhartDirector, Aardenburg Imaging & Archives

Founder and director of Aardenburg Imaging and Archives, Mark has over thirty years of professional experience in imaging and materials science and holds eight U.S. patents in the field of imaging science and technology. He has also published over 30 papers related to imaging science and photographic conservation. Photography and printmaking has been his special interest for over forty years. From 1988 to 1998, he was the Senior Research Photographic Scientist at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. In 1996, Mark co-founded one of the first fully color-managed digital fine art printing studios, Old Town Editions, in Alexandria, Virginia with colleague Chris Foley. From 1998-2005, Mark was a consultant to Wilhelm Imaging Research, assisting with the development of image permanence test methods for the evaluation of modern digital print media. In 2007, Mark founded Aardenburg Imaging and Archives, to begin image permanence testing using his invention, the i* Metric, and additional innovative testing protocols. Today, Aardenburg Imaging remains the only i* Metric testing facility, publishing the most advanced image permanence information available to photographic and printmaking communities worldwide.


Recording February 16, 2023 Length 1 hour 7 minutes