Film Storage Tips for 8mm and 16mm Film

If you have 8mm film, Super8 film or 16mm film, it may take a little time to find a place where you can preserve your film in your own home without it degrading.  Follow these suggestions on how to store your film to keep your memories safe and intact.  Better yet, transfer your film to DVD or digital files at the same time with our film transfer service.

Safe methods to store your 8mm Film or 16mm Film

Keep your film stored at steady temperatures
Store film in a location with steady humidity and temperatures.  At MemoryHub, we recommend that you store your film in a location no hotter than 70 degrees with 20 to 30 percent humidity.  Film properly stored may last up to 50 years before decomposition occurs.

Store film in a separate location from your DVDs/Digital files
You may wish to consider storing your film in a different location from your transferred DVDs or digital files.  This way, in the event your home is subject to a natural disaster such as flood or fire, you will have your originals (or digital copies) backed up and safe in a different location.

Label your film reels
Take the time now to label your film if you have a way to watch and/or transcribe the events on the film.  This way, when you send your film to MemoryHub for digital film transfer, it will be an easy process for you and your family to select the proper order for transfer.  When transferring film to DVD, MemoryHub will follow the order that you have specified (by numbering) on your reels.

Store your film horizontally
Store your film canisters horizontally — no more than 8 cans high.

Other good film storage ideas

When storing film, use “safety” film stock.  Polyester-base “safety” film stock is preferred. At MemoryHub, we recommend that you store your film on moisture-proof cores and in corrosion-resistant cans. When you gather your film to send to MemoryHub to be converted to DVD, considering converting your Super 8 Film to DVD to store digital versions of your film as well

How Not to Store Your Film

Do not use plastic bags to store your film reels
MemoryHub strongly recommends that you do not store your film in plastic (e.g., Ziplock) bags.  Film needs to breathe, which means it needs exposure to oxygen.  Lack of ventilation will cause films’ rate of decomposition to increase.

Do not store your film in attics or in direct sunlight
Do not store your film in an attic or in direct sunlight.  In our years of experience, we have found that high-temperatures lead to an increased rate of decomposition in film.

Avoid storing your film nears toxins
Do not store your film near chemicals, pain or exhaust.  For this reason, we strongly recommend that you do not store your film in the garage or in a storage space above a garage.

Don’t forget to keep your original film reels

Once MemoryHub returns your original film materials to you, be sure to keep them.  These original materials make nice keepsakes, and are yet another form of physical backup of your family memories.

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