Astronomical spectra are, with few exceptions, still being recorded on photographic emulsions. These generally have the advantages of better spatial resolution and larger available area than existing photoelectric imaging detectors. On the other hand they do suffer from a small dynamic range (15 or 20: 1), reciprocity failure, and a quantum efficiency of less than 1 per cent. Image intensifiers and image orthocons can be used to improve sensitivity, but where photographs are used for the record the other problems tend to remain. Calibration and extraction of the appropriate astronomical information in digital form involves a considerable amount of time and careful work, as one can appreciate from many of the papers presented at this colloquium.