Monday, December 17, 2012

Document and Photo Preservation Workshop: How to store Photos and Documents

How to store Photos and Documents

News Paper Clippings should be photocopied onto alkaline paper.

Use only lignin free (Lignin or lignen is a complex chemical compound most commonly derived from wood), acid free, un-buffered paper for storing photographs or as interleaving paper in albums 

Use only PVC-free plastics such as Polyester, Mylar, Polypropylene, Polyethelyne and Tyvek (Other plastics are not chemically stable and will release damaging acids over time.  Especially dangerous is PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic commonly found in "store-bought" binders; it emits hydrochloric acid over time)

Most items in storage, especially in the collectibles arena, would benefit from storage in a buffered enclosure (non-buffered is alkaline and buffered is leaning town more neutral environment). This is especially true for the vast majority of paper items. Because of its ability to neutralize acids and extend the life of paper, photographs, textiles, and artifacts, buffering is more often than not a benefit

Scrapbooks and albums should be boxed and stored flat on shelves. Given their structure and the techniques used to mount items, scrapbooks and albums are often bulky and do not close tightly. For this reason, boxing is important to keep dust from sifting into the volumes. Flat storage also will keep loose items from falling to the bottoms of volumes, where they could become bent and damaged.

Photographic materials (prints and negatives) that are to be retained within files of textual records should be placed in polyester sleeves. Polyester film enclosures allow immediate visual access to images without the need for researchers to remove photographs Polyester film also serves as a good barrier between photographic materials and adjacent textual records in the same file. Ideally, each print or negative should be placed in an individual sleeve, and prints and negatives should be filed separately. Before they are sleeved, photographs should be lightly dusted with a soft brush.

No attempt should be made to remove photographic prints from mounts, backings, or similar supports.

In most instances, loose archival records should not be run through automatic feed devices; records that are in poor condition are especially vulnerable in such situations.

Damaged or fragile records that have been placed in polyester sleeves for physical protection should not be removed from sleeves before they are photocopied.

No attempt should be made to copy oversize records and bound volumes on photocopy machines with small copying surfaces. Records will be damaged as they are manipulated to piece together a complete image.



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