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Proceedings Paper

Digital images for eternity: color microfilm as archival medium
Author(s): C. Normand; R. Gschwind; P. Fornaro
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Paper Abstract

In the archiving and museum communities, the long-term preservation of artworks has traditionally been guaranteed by making duplicates of the original. For photographic reproductions, digital imaging devices have now become standard, providing better quality control and lower costs than film photography. However, due to the very short life cycle of digital data, losses are unavoidable without repetitive data migrations to new file formats and storage media. We present a solution for the long-term archiving of digital images on color microfilm (Ilfochrome® Micrographic). This extremely stable and high-resolution medium, combined with the use of a novel laser film recorder is particularly well suited for this task. Due to intrinsic limitations of the film, colorimetric reproductions of the originals are not always achievable. The microfilm must be first considered as an information carrier and not primarily as an imaging medium. Color transformations taking into account the film characteristics and possible degradations of the medium due to aging are investigated. An approach making use of readily available color management tools is presented which assures the recovery of the original colors after re-digitization. An extension of this project considering the direct recording of digital information as color bit-code on the film is also introduced.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 January 2007
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6493, Color Imaging XII: Processing, Hardcopy, and Applications, 649307 (29 January 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.704414
Show Author Affiliations
C. Normand, Univ. of Basel (Switzerland)
R. Gschwind, Univ. of Basel (Switzerland)
P. Fornaro, Univ. of Basel (Switzerland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6493:
Color Imaging XII: Processing, Hardcopy, and Applications
Reiner Eschbach; Gabriel G. Marcu, Editor(s)

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