Working together on the sixth floor of Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane senior Kat Kohrs, right, and Katheryn Warzak retrieve and analyze A-D strips buried in the university’s microfilm collection. A-D strips are dye-coated paper strips that detect and measure the severity of acetate film deterioration. Warsak, an audiovisual technician in the Media Services department, is overseeing a survey of the collection to determine acetate decay.
A-D strips are designed to be used for testing acetate film in any format: sheet film, roll film, cinema film, or microfilm. Originally blue, the strip changes color according to the severity of the level of acidity. The more yellow the color, the higher the level of acidity.
Kohrs examines the film to determine whether it is made of acetate or polyester. Only acetate film is susceptible to the type of decay A-D strips measure.
Approximately 1,650 test strips were randomly inserted into the film boxes to get a general survey of the health of the collection. A-D stands for acid detector.
The survey results will determine the next steps for preserving the collection.