Pasadena Museum of History (PMH) turned to cryogenics and crowd-funding for help in preserving its highly at-risk irreplaceable historic photos. With the launch of “The Great History Freeze of 2015,” PMH has high hopes that this month-long Kickstarter campaign will succeed in raising sufficient funds to purchase one or more industrial freezers towards a long-term goal of ten.
The over one million photographic images in PMH‘s archives are among the museum’s most valuable resources, attracting researchers worldwide and utilized on a regular basis by local journalists, scholars and individuals. In spite of careful preservation efforts, many of the images are deteriorating at a rate that will destroy them completely within 20 years.
The industrial freezers will help with stability. Freezing the negatives will put them in a chemically inert state and limit off-gassing. It is more cost-effective than scanning every negative and digitally storing them. It also has the added benefit of preserving the historic artifact. This is the method currently in use by major historical museums with photographic collections.
“The Great History Freeze of 2015” campaign is seeking funding through Kickstarter for a minimum of one freezer. The minimum goal of $2,500 would cover the cost of purchasing one 20 cubic foot industrial freezer equipped with a wireless data monitor, plus associated storage and handling costs. Funds raised over and above this campaign goal will go toward the purchase of future freezers and supplies. Each freezer can store between 18,000 and 20,000 negatives.
For further details on “The Great History Freeze of 2015,” please visit the campaign page at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pasadenahistory/the-great-history-freeze-to-preserve-photographic.