A full explanation of the history of film can be found on Wikipedia's film page.
The techniques used to manufacture color film changed over the years, evolving from tinting by applied colors to the subtractive color used to produce Technicolor film. The Timeline of Historical Film Colors has a chronological list of color film types.
The National Film Preservation Foundation has a list of Preservation Basics for film preservation. They recommend three key actions for preserving film:
- printing old film onto new, more stable film stock
- storing the original film and new master under cool-and-dry conditions
- providing public access through surrogate video, DVD, and film copies. 
The A/V Artifact Atlas has examples of technical issues and anomalies in audio and visual signals, particularly during preservation reformatting.
Conservation Products, Equipment, and Supplies
- Archival Methods has general archival supplies
- Christy's Editorial sells various film equipment
- Gaylord also has general archival and library supplies
- Hunt's Photo and Video offers photographic and video supplies
- Motion Picture TV & Theatre Directory has a comprehensive list of services and supplies by type
- Film, Wikipedia. Accessed 2014.
- Preservation Basics, National Film Preservation Foundation. Accessed 2014.
National Film Preservation Foundation. Film Preservation Guide. 2004.