Client Background

The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP) is one of the largest collections of aerial imagery in the world, containing tens of millions of aerial images featuring historic events and places around the world.

Key Objectives

It is the role of NCAP to collect and secure the future of these records, both digital and physical, to preserve them for generations to come.

After experiencing significant handling and conservation challenges, Digital Imaging Manager; Alan Potts approached Monmouth Scientific in search of a solution to guarantee a highly clean environment in which the NCAP team can safely preserve the collection.

Our Solution

Monmouth Scientific | Case Study | Historic Environmental ScotlandWhen the National Collection of Aerial Photography moved into dedicated, state-of-the-art collections care and digitisation facility in Edinburgh, space was provided to accommodate the processes needed to deal with these key challenges.

Our experienced team identified the Recirculating Fume Cupboard as the ideal solution to meet the needs of the team, enabling the Technicians to work safely and effectively.

The age and past storage conditions of the archive mean that some items have suffered degradation over time. For the 6.5 million photographic prints this manifests as mould, which must be safely removed before a digital replication can be created. This work can only safely be undertaken in a Recirculating Fume Cupboard, in combination with suitable PPE.

The film archive suffers from a very different issue. The acetate base of the film can autocatalytically degrade and produce acetic acid. Whilst not dangerous, the smell is unpleasant and can lead to irritation through prolonged exposure. Preparing and digitising the film within a Recirculating Fume Cupboard mitigates this issue and creates a healthier workspace for all the staff.

The Circulaire® Fume Cupboards require no ducting to an external environment and could be installed anywhere within the workspace. Airflow is guided towards the interior to effectively trap vapours at source and containing them within the controlled working area and Activated Carbon filters, expelling clean air back into the laboratory.

Consuming minimal energy and delivering optimal performance, our recirculating technology also leads to significant cost savings and contributes to a greener and more sustainable laboratory environment.

Combined with the new facility, workflow and output has been transformed for the NCAP with active programmes now dealing with these critical conservation issues as a priority.

“Working with Monmouth Scientific has been excellent.

We had no knowledge of Recirculating Fume Cupboards within the team prior to this, so relied on Monmouth Scientific to guide us through the process of identifying and defining our risks and selecting the most appropriate equipment for the job.

Our unique application has required some bespoke solutions and Monmouth Scientific have been a great partner in engineering and building cabinets that fit our needs.

Having the correct equipment and practices means that The National Collection of Aerial Photography can now move ahead with the monumental task of preserving this unique record of world events as seen from above, for future generations.”

Alan Potts, Digital Imaging Manager - Historic Environmental Scotland | National Collection of Aerial Photography