Fortune 100 manufacturer
Business case

LAC to digitize millions of still images and nitrate film

Business needs: digitizing millions of still photos

When a Fortune 100 manufacturing firm faced a noteworthy legal challenge, the company’s lawyers constructed a defense, in part, from the negatives and records pulled from the company’s corporate archive to win a multi-million-dollar settlement. Properly maintaining a corporate archive is critical for navigating just these kind of situations, says the company’s archive manager.

Recently, the manufacturer tasked this same archive manager to downsize the holdings within one of its U.S.-based facilities; he used the initiative as a catalyst to digitize and meta-tag millions of negatives, photographic stills and nitrate film.

Initially, the manufacturer relied on its communications and archival staff to carry out the digitization project. But with millions of assets on file, the project was more work than they could handle themselves. The archive is critical for not only defending against legal challenges and telling the company’s corporate history but also supporting its engineers.

The company’s employees access negatives and prints to see, for example, the cross-section of a product and analyze how a problem or challenge was met in the past. The data on each negative’s sleeve also paints a richer story for designers and technicians, while allowing them to see things in a larger context.

Business challenges: scanning, tagging and handling nitrate film

“The project entails digitizing millions of assets and ingesting those with our digital asset management system,” says the company’s archive manager.

Since the archive also contains nitrate film, the manufacturer required a vendor with a nitrate-handling certification.

LAC Group, says the archive manager, was one of the few vendors with the nitrate-handling capability to ensure the safety of an important part of the collection.

Business solution

In the second half of 2017, LAC Group’s team began scanning and digitizing the physical collection and assigning meta tags. Once completed, the manufacturer will put the physical collection in long-term cold storage. According to the manufacturer, LAC’s work with the archive plays a critical role in helping the company solve engineering challenges, protect itself from litigation and extend its brand in a unified, compelling way.