by Ian Austen, The New York Times
The preservation center at Canada’s national archive here might have the last word when it comes to keeping the color in color photography. A four-story concrete building, which is enclosed within a second protective building, holds two warehouse-size vaults where negatives, prints and film are kept in the dark at 0 degrees and 25 percent relative humidity. Before anything in the collection can be examined, technicians must put it into an acclimatization chamber that resembles an oversize stainless-steel refrigerator, where it is warmed up over a 24- to 48-hour period. Henry Wilhelm, an American researcher on photographic preservation, says the complex and costly system is worth the trouble.
“Those images should last thousands of years,” he said from his office in Grinnell, Iowa. “Imagine seeing photos of the building of the pyramids.”
But even officials at the archive are uncertain how to manage the medium that now dominates photography: inkjet prints....