Digitization is widely recognized as an access tool for archival materials, but it is not universally accepted as a preservation method. In certain cases, however, digitization is the most feasible option for recovering and preserving content. Acetate photographic negatives are a case in point. Deteriorated negatives off-gas acetic acid resulting in warping and shrinkage that can cause severe damage. It can be difficult and expensive to salvage the information content of the images using traditional photographic methods. This article examines the decision made at the University of Southern Mississippi to use digitization as a preservation strategy to capture the visual content from highly damaged acetate negatives.

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