Fujifilm Products, Technical Experts Hel Vital record Centers Diagnose and Manage Destructive Effects of Vinegar Syndrome
Industry-preferred resources for early identification, damage containment / deceleration, and information duplication
“Because the process often goes undetected until damage has already occurred, vinegar syndrome is a very insidious threat to acetate-based microfilm,” said Randy Petree, National Account Manager, Document Products and Measurement Films Group, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Industrial and Corporate New Business Development Division. “As the enormous stores of microfilm age, we are seeing more and more vinegar damaged film, and it takes technical skill to duplicate the film properly."
Valhalla, N.Y., April 13, 2015 — In response to the growing threat of vinegar syndrome damage to vast quantities of older, acetate-based microfilm, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Industrial and Corporate New Business Development Division announces a full spectrum of technical support and highly effective product solutions to combat this widespread phenomenon. Fujifilm experts are available to assist research libraries, government agencies and other vital records centers at every stage, from assessment through mitigation and microfilm duplication. The company also provides customers with access to a nationwide network of independent, top quality microfilm service providers through the Fujifilm Microfilm Processing Certification Program. Participating service providers commit to submitting monthly data to Fujifilm that verifies their capability to meet or exceed industry standards for microfilm processing quality control.
“Because the process often goes undetected until damage has already occurred, vinegar syndrome is a very insidious threat to acetate-based microfilm,” said Randy Petree, National Account Manager, Document Products and Measurement Films Group, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Industrial and Corporate New Business Development Division. “As the enormous stores of microfilm age, we are seeing more and more vinegar damaged film, and it takes technical skill to duplicate the film properly to maximize the amount of information that can be saved.”
Vinegar syndrome can affect any microfilm that utilizes a cellulose acetate base, which was the predominant choice for microfilm manufactured from the 1930s through the mid-1980s. This microfilm’s maximum life expectancy is 100 years when stored and handled under ideal conditions. However, although a storage facility may endeavor to maintain appropriate temperatures and humidity levels, any time microfilm leaves the vault, it becomes vulnerable to deterioration. In 2015, even if microfilm has never left its pristine storage facility, the film is fast approaching the limit of its life expectancy.
Unlike potentially catastrophic events such as fire or flood, vinegar syndrome infiltrates microfilm over time and can go unnoticed until the film’s base undergoes chemical degradation and generates by-products, including acetic acid, which smells like vinegar. Once the process begins, it is autocatalytic, meaning that it cannot be stopped and may even accelerate, causing film layers to become extremely fragile. If left untreated, the film’s critical information can be lost. Early action is the key to minimizing the damage.
Fujifilm’s array of assistance begins with experts who can work with records centers directly or recommend local providers to evaluate microfilm condition and assess any level of degradation based on the customer’s preference. Records centers can use Fujifilm supplied A-D test strips to monitor film that does not yet exhibit any odor. For film that already has the vinegar smell, Fujifilm offers molecular sieves to absorb moisture and acetic acid to slow the rate of deterioration. The best way to preserve all the information on acetate-based microfilm, however, is to transfer it onto Fujifilm’s modern, polyester-based silver duplicating film, which has a life expectancy of 500 years.
“From my experience and discussions with microfilm service providers, I have found that duplicating vinegar-damaged film is both an art and a science,” explained Petree. “Not every provider out there has the right skills to actually duplicate the film correctly and completely.”
Fujifilm customers agree. “I’ve been working with Fujifilm microfilm products and technical trouble shooting personnel for many years, and I have been consistently pleased with their superior quality, technical expertise, and prompt service whenever I have an issue,” said Jim Craig, ECMs, ECMp, Director, Micrographics, Inc.
For more information on Fujifilm Document Products, go to: www.FujifilmMicrofilm.com. To download a Fujifilm Brochure on Vinegar Syndrome, go to:
FUJIFILM North America Corporation, a marketing subsidiary of FUJIFILM Holdings America Corporation consists of five operating divisions and one subsidiary company. The Imaging Division provides consumer and commercial photographic products and services, including: photographic paper; digital printing equipment, along with service and support; personalized photo products; film; and one-time-use cameras; and also markets motion picture archival film and on-set color management solutions to the motion picture, broadcast and production industries. The Electronic Imaging Division markets consumer digital cameras, and the Graphic Systems Division supplies products and services to the graphic printing industry. The Optical Devices Division provides optical lenses for the broadcast, cinematography, closed circuit television, videography and industrial markets, and also markets binoculars. The Industrial and Corporate New Business Development Division delivers new products derived from Fujifilm technologies. FUJIFILM Canada Inc. sells and markets a range of Fujifilm products and services in Canada. For more information, please visit www.fujifilmusa.com/northamerica, go to www.twitter.com/fujifilmus to follow Fujifilm on Twitter, or go to www.facebook.com/FujifilmNorthAmerica to Like Fujifilm on Facebook. To receive news and information direct from Fujifilm via RSS, subscribe at www.fujifilmusa.com/rss.
FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan brings continuous innovation and leading-edge products to a broad spectrum of industries, including: healthcare, with medical systems, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics; graphic systems; highly functional materials, such as flat panel display materials; optical devices, such as broadcast and cinema lenses; digital imaging; and document products. These are based on a vast portfolio of chemical, mechanical, optical, electronic, software and production technologies. In the year ended March 31, 2014, the company had global revenues of $23.9 billion, at an exchange rate of 102 yen to the dollar. Fujifilm is committed to environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit: www.fujifilmholdings.com.
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