While there is no ideal temperature, colder is better.
Relative humidity is best kept between 20% and 50 % humidity with the lower end of the spectrum (20-30 %) being dramatically better for long term storage as a low relative humidity also keeps pollutant levels low. How individual institutions create these conditions depend upon resources.
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Film–whether motion picture film, cut sheet film, microfilm, (either microform or microfiche), and amateur film – is generally at great risk in most collections.
Acetate is less flammable, but though thought to be more stable for preservation purposes than nitrate, it shares many of nitrate’s durability issues.
Nitrate film finally disappeared from production in all types of film in 1951.
Beyond identification by the date material was created, another way to identify a type of film is to examine its physical properties.
Generally, the optimal preservation strategy requires colder and drier conditions.
For precise measurements of speed and progress of deterioration already begun and best storage practices, see the “IPI Storage Guide to Acetate Film” written by James M. Accompanying Reilly’s guide is a very handy set of tables and a wheel to determine storage needs of acetate film based on present conditions.
It should be clearly understood that no storage methods can restore film, it can only retard further damage.
Reilly, “Basic Strategy for Acetate Film Preservation” in September 2002 117-13）In addition to using the senses to identify deterioration in acetate film, there are products, notably acid detector strips inserted into the film enclosure, that test the condition of film by testing its acidity.
Consultants may also be hired to monitor the condition of film collections.