In 2006, FSA Digital Services first opened its doors to help preserve the rich photographic and film heritage of the midwest, offering non-destructive, all-digital restoration services in the fields of photographic still images (both prints and negatives), films and videotapes of all sizes and types, and sound recordings.
What sets FSA apart from other local and national restoration services is our attention and dedication to personalized service; to both the project at hand; and to the needs of the client who has entrusted these extremely valuable items to our care. We do not rush through our work in order to get onto the next item of business; we know that there is no "cookie cutter" approach to your needs. Each image will require a unique solution, and the results are usually a very high priority to our clients. Many are one-of-a-kind items whose digitally-restored counterparts must be "just right."
Our love of personal history is what both drives us as a business, and makes us successful with our clients. We treat your images and items with the same care and respect that we would if they were our own.
All of our restoration work is done locally; unlike national chains and some other services, we do not outsource your work or rush it through a machine to let some nonthinking computer do automated repairs or restorations. Everything we do is very individualized, and you can see that in the results of our work and the smiles on our clients' faces.
Initial consultations and estimates on your project, whether small or large, are at no cost to you. We will even come to you if circumstances prevent you from moving your items.
The time to act is now. Preserve your past and share it with future generations, with the help of FSA Digital Services.
Brett Brodersen came from a family who emigrated to America during the 1870s, so in his family the history contained in the old family photo albums was always very important. But in the fall of his senior year of high school, he and the rest of the family awoke to the sound of rushing water, and found that a water pipe had burst and had flooded a room in the basement, completely destroying a large collection of one-of-a-kind old pictures that had been stored there. In an instant, the rushing water had turned family history into a soggy pile of paper pulp and glue. From that day forward, Brett was determined to try to protect and preserve photographs and family histories. For him, it had become personal.
In the early 1990s, while pursuing a bachelor's degree in media and communications, Brett was exposed to some of the first consumer-level digital technology. He quickly realized that there were now ways to repair and preserve history that only a few years before were not even thought to be possible.
Soon, his work captured the attention of friends and co-workers, and he found himself restoring pictures for other peoples' families. It was out of this ever-growing groundswell of support that FSA Digital Services was formally created in 2006.
In the intervening years, Brett has gone on to do work for a variety of public and private individuals, from large corporations to single persons, from churches and funeral homes to high school reunion classes, and always with the highest standards in mind.
Brett adopted the mantra of his 1993 boss, Gateway, Inc. CEO Ted Waiit, to "always be happy, but never be satisfied." Today, Brett applies this motto toward always trying to find new ways to improve the processes in his work, and he approaches your projects with the same attention that we would give to protecting his own family's history.
by Brett Brodersen, founder and owner of FSA Digital Services
If I could communicate one thing to everyone regarding the protection of their family histories, I would simply say that it is important to recognize that time is not on your side when it comes to protecting your pictures and films, and that waiting to save the items from the past is usually lethal for those same items. And it is NOT your fault. The simple truth is that any item that is not already in a digital format is destroying itself simply by virtue of the materials used to make it.
Old pictures and films are made of organic materials, so it is no surprise that paper products, chemicals, color dyes, plastics, etc, are all self-destructive when given enough time, even under the best storage conditions. Pictures will fade, negatives will warp and distort and begin to smell like vinegar, and 8mm home movie films become brittle and break. Videotapes stretch, break, fade from repeated playing, can become moldy, develop tracking lines in the pictures, and have an average lifespan of only seven years, and that means that they have been outdated for at least that long with the advent of DVDs in the 1990s and Blu-Ray discs in the mid-2000s.
It's an unfair situation that you find yourself in, that your oldest memories are on the materials that are also the most fragile, but if they have any value to you at all, then the time to correct the situation is now. You need to have them recreated digitally, and then protect those new digital copies for the years and generations that will follow.
First and foremost in your consideration for digital preservation is to understand clearly that we do not alter your original items: All we do is make a high-quality scan or picture of your item, and then the item is returned to you in its original condition. Once that is done, all of our digital restoration is done on the computer.
In most cases, digital restoration can even offer improvements over the original image quality (color, tone, contrast, etc) and we can perform as many variations of repair as you can think of, while retaning a perfect original image of your item.
The benefits of restored digital images are manifest: Now near-endless possibilities exist to offer digital copies to those who are interested without giving up either your digital copy or the physical original from which your restored image was created. You can pack up that original picture in a safe place and display a cleaner, larger copy on the wall in the living room and never worry about the original being damaged or destroyed.
With a simple disc or e-mail attachment you can share your image with family and friends, where they might pass it on as well, or make prints for their own family albums.
And, of course, once something is digitized you can make copies and try other image changes with no worry about permanently changing your digital "original." Suppose you perfectly restore that picture, but now you want to try it with a different color tint to it? Or do just a close-up of their faces for your daughter's family tree project at her school? Or hand-color a picture that was taken in black-and-white so you can see what that might have looked like? Yes, we can do all of that, and more.
In this new digital age, the only limits are your imagination.
I look forward to hearing from you, and good luck in your endeavors.
In accordance with our sincere belief that protecting your personal treasures is a critically important project whether done by you, by us or by someone else, the following links and information are being provided to you from the most qualified and unbiased authority we know -- The Library of Congress. They are without a doubt some of the best in the world at preserving an important history, and we encourage you to read the descriptions and follow the links that are most relevant to your personal situation. There are no "counters" on these links and no one is compensated in any way; it is simply our way of offering you the very best information on helping you to preserve your past.
Ensuring long-term access to the Library's collections.
Basic information and simple steps to take for the good care, handling, and storage of various materials and formats found in library and home collections; Guidelines for reducing risks to library materials posed by display/exhibition, reformatting, water, and airborne pollutants and for using ABLE™ 7.0 software for the preparation of materials for library binding.
Identifying, care and handling, storage, and other issues for photographs.
Works on paper generally refer to flat (as opposed to bound) paper materials, including documents, manuscripts, drawings, prints, posters, and maps. Taking care when handling any collection item is one of the more effective, cost-efficient, and easily achieved preservation measures.
Taking care when handling any collection item, especially functional items like books with flexing parts, is one of the more effective, cost-efficient, and easily achieved preservation measures.
Taking care when handling any collection item, especially functional and composite items like scrapbooks and albums with flexing parts and various media, is one of the more effective, cost-efficient, and easily achieved preservation measures.
The composite nature of and usual inclusion of modern materials in scrapbooks and albums make good storage especially critical for preservation.
Taking care when handling any collection item, especially large format, poor-quality paper items like newspapers, is one of the more effective, cost-efficient, and easily achieved preservation measures.
Newspapers from the mid-19th century onwards are printed on inexpensive, machine-made, wood pulp paper that is not manufactured for longevity. Due to the inherent chemical instabilities of such low-quality wood pulp papers, these newspapers are inherently acidic. Good storage is especially critical to the preservation of acidic papers.Care, Handling, and Storage of Comic Books
Taking care when handling any collection item, especially functional items like comic books and magazines with flexing parts, is one of the more effective, cost-efficient, and easily achieved preservation measures.
Comic books are modern publications, the earliest of which are from the 19th century industrial era when machine-made, wood pulp paper had already become the dominant paper product. Due to the inherent chemical instabilities of wood pulp papers and the late development of U.S. paper standards (in the 1980s), many comic book collections contain acidic books. Good storage is especially critical to the preservation of acidic paper materials.
Taking care when handling any collection item is one of the more effective, cost-efficient, and easily achieved preservation measures.
Grooved discs and cylinders, optical discs, and magnetic tape are made of modern materials that may have inherent chemical instabilities. Good storage is especially critical to the preservation of these materials.
Motion picture film can be made of various materials and by different processes and both material and process inform storage, handling, and duplication recommendations.
Motion picture films and especially the silver particles or color dyes that constitute the image are highly sensitive to inappropriate environmental conditions; good storage is arguably the best preservation measure one can take.
Specific handling considerations are based on the style of book. There are two basic types of Asian style bindings for paper based books, the accordion style and the side-sewn style. Each format requires a handling approach specific to its needs.
Our photo albums, letters, home movies and paper documents are a vital link to the past. Personal information we create today has the same value. The only difference is that much of it is now digital.
Finished work product (i.e., the digital files) can be provided to you via diskettes, Compact Discs (CDs), DVDs or Blu-Ray discs for both video and data, hard drives, flash drives, or any of a number of Cloud-based online delivery options.