Dec 20, 2008

Preserving newspaper articles in scrapbooks, and other useful tips

The Image Permanence Institute will be at PMA next year. Daniel Burge, their Archival Advisor, will be joining us at the PSRO/PPFA Face to Face Showcase 6:30-8:30 pm on Tuesday March 3.

This information is from the PSRO Retailing News in early November:

How do I safely preserve a newspaper article in my scrapbook?

Because lignin in newsprint will accelerate the decay of an original newspaper clipping, it is best to make a photocopy of the clipping on good-quality office paper (acid-free, lignin-free, and not recycled), and put the copy into an album. Treating the original newsprint with a deacidification spray may reduce the rate at which it decays, but the treated original won't last as long as a photocopy. Also, even if treated with deacidification spray, newsprint cannot be stored safely next to photos; pollutants from lignin can stain and mar photos. Still, the original newspaper clipping is worth keeping in a separate box or folder, and a deacidification spray may help it last there a little longer.

What should I do to preserve my photographs and scrapbooks?

Keep them in a cool, dry area; use preservation-quality scrapbook materials; and handle them carefully. Keep scrapbooks stored vertically on shelves to prevent pressure damage to photos and memorabilia stored inside. If horizontal storage is preferred, keep an album or scrapbook inside a close-fitting box.

Are the photos I print on my computer archival?

Some types of digital prints are long-lasting, but it takes some technical knowledge to determine which types are and which are not. If you really want to pursue the inkjet printing route, it is always best to use the printer manufacturer's recommended inks and papers. It is also best to use pigment inks as opposed to dyes; but be careful to read the packaging, as some ink sets use pigments only for the black ink.

How do I ensure my journaling will last as long as the rest of my scrapbook?

Use pigment ink pens that are fade-resistant, lightfast, bleedproof, and waterproof. Some pens are called permanent, not because they last a long time, but because they don't wash off with water. These "permanent" pens can still fade, and some do quite easily. Some are even very harmful to photos. So pick a pen ink that's water-based and also water-resistant.

How do you preserve an ultrasound/sonogram print?

Most of these images are printed with thermal imaging paper. This paper can brown when exposed to the light for even a short time. They are also sensitive to heat and pressure. Keep these images in the dark, out of the attic, and be careful when handling. Make copies of these important pictures with a photocopier or scanner and printer.

Source: "The Archival Advisor: IPI's Guide for the Family Photo Collector, Genealogist, and Scrapbook Maker," from the Image Permanence Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y.

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