I'm hoping some knowledgeable person on here can help me with this. Several years ago a family member dropped off tons of boxes of old 8mm and 16mm movies and slides, mostly from the 1960's and 70's, along with some old projectors & stuff. Some are in metal tins, some are in cardboard boxes.

We live in NE Florida, so there's lots of heat and humidity. We've been keeping the stuff in a room in the house, but now have to find someplace else. But, the only place room for all this stuff is in the attic, and it gets incredibly hot up there.

One day we'll be able to get it tfrd to digital, but that's not in the cards anytime soon. Is there anything at all I can do to protect those movies and slides if I put them up there?


1 Answer 1


The answer will be highly dependent on the specifics of the situation, such as how much heat and humidity, and over what period of time. It's unlikely that anyone will be able to provide an accurate answer for your situation because you very likely haven't recorded the temperature and humidity levels over the storage period, but "incredibly hot" can't be good. So, we have to revert to generalities: you really should keep film (even if it has been developed) in a cool, dark, dry place as much as possible. Doing otherwise will lead to adverse results.

It sounds like renting a climate controlled storage locker might be a good (if expensive) option.

Even without high temperature and humidity, many of the substrates used for film can degrade over time. This is a huge problem for big movie studios, museums, historical societies, and other institutions that have large stores of photographs and movies -- the film is slowly falling apart despite being stored under good conditions.

Note that some film substrates such as celluloid are quite flammable.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. I don't believe the movies are celluloid; I understand they stopped using that in the 50's. Not sure about the slides, though. But thank you for that warning - I did not know that. I guess what I'm looking for is "hey, check out this new storage medium I just came across, it protects against heat and humidity". It never hurts to ask, even when all seems hopeless. \$\endgroup\$
    – user16175
    Feb 13, 2013 at 21:27
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The way to protect against heat and humidity is to remove them. An air conditioner and dehumidifier could help in that respect. But there's nothing you can do to slides or film that will allow them to be stored in adverse conditions without being affected. \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Feb 13, 2013 at 21:31

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