While the Truman picture elements in the Motion Picture Preservation Lab are in better shape than the magnetic soundtracks, we still sometimes find very visible signs of deterioration. Some types of film splicing tape used in the past react with film emulsion over time, causing discoloration. We remove harmful tape, clean off the residue, and resplice the film using more stable tape. Though we can’t remove the discoloration, it will be much less evident when the film is reprinted to new black and white polyester film stock.
The Motion Picture Preservation Lab has been hard at work preserving hundreds of outtakes from President Truman’s 26 part television documentary - Decision: The Conflicts of Harry S. Truman, broadcast November 1964. We’re nearly done! Follow us over the next few Fridays to see what we encountered, and what we’ve accomplished!
The reels pictured here are suffering from extreme levels of vinegar syndrome, as indicated by the yellow strips in the can.
On Valentine’s Day, 1962, eight million Americans turned on their televisions to watch Jacqueline Kennedy give a tour of the newly restored White House.
The televised program earned Jacqueline Kennedy an honorary Emmy Award and sparked a renewed enthusiasm for the history and beauty of the White House.
This week, the Kennedy Library has opened and made available for research the first section of the Personal Papers of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The collection provides new insight into the First Lady’s restoration efforts, as well as her extensive knowledge of the historic furnishings, artwork and décor that would set the standard for future presidencies.
Preserving Pearl Harbor Documents
Service jacket and salvaged service record, with Navy envelope, of William Wells. Wells enlisted at Kansas City, Mo. on Jan. 1, 1940, and died Dec. 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor after achieving the rank of Signalman 3rd class. Also lost that day was his brother, Raymond Virgil Wells. They were one of 23 sets of brothers on the Arizona who died that day.
One of the most important decisions a conservator can make is not how to complete a treatment, but when NOT to treat. An important example of this can be found in the records salvaged from the U.S.S. Arizona after it was bombed on Dec. 7, 1941. These service records, which were held one level below the main deck, were not submerged in water but were subjected to heat, fire, and high humidity. Salvaged by the Navy and sealed in envelopes which contained the damaged documents, the records came to NARA in the 1950s and are now housed at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.
Note: This is the first in a series of posts on conservation of Pearl Harbor documents.
We work with amazing people here at the National Archives. Among them are the folks on the preservation team who provide tender loving care to the records of the American people. We’re so excited to welcome the brand new Tumblr from Preservation at the National Archives. Take a look!
Preservation at the National Archives is on Tumblr
Welcome to the Preservation at the National Archives Tumblr blog! We are excited to show off the many ways that the National Archives and Records Administration works to preserve the holdings under our care. Let us know if something piques your interest, or if you have any great ideas for posts. We look forward to hearing from you!