(Gerald Waller/Stars and Stripes)

October is American Archives Month! To celebrate, Stars and Stripes Archives and Library is sharing some “behind the scenes” images of Stripes’ operations, its staff and its archives throughout the paper’s eight decades of existence.

Aschaffenburg, Germany, Feb. 2, 1950: Betty Jo Fay, wife of 1st Sgt. Thomas H. Fay, of H Co. 18th Infantry, 1st Division, gets the couple’s daughter, Colleen, 5, ready for bed in the family’s new apartment.

The original negative that this image was captured on suffers from a preservation issue called “silvering,” where the silver particles rise to the top of the gelatin layer of the film. During a preservation survey of Stripes’ photo collection in 2018, archives staff found that especially the 4x5 negatives from the late 1940s and early 1950s were suffering the most from this particular preservation issue. As the “silvering” will eventually cause the image captured on the negative to fade, the affected negatives were pulled and prioritized for scanning.

See additional images from this assignment and read the story here,

Since 2004 the small (but mighty!) archives staff has worked to make more of our historic content available online. We have digitized our 1948-1999 European and Pacific editions, as well as several of our WWII editions and made them available online through

In 2014 we focused our efforts on the preservation and digitization of our vast photo archives and have been slowly but steadily digitizing negatives, slides and prints — mainly concentrating on those with preservation issues.

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