How to treat supposed "archival" photos

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jtk

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Maybe some of us have thought about long-term storage of unmounted prints. This is an obvious concern if one is actually concerned about archival issues beyond print making.

I exclusively store finished non-displayed prints (like their negatives) in polyester (not polyethylene) fold-lock sleeves. There aren't many sources. Not cheap.

Polyester is far more clear than anything else, better than glass, so these sleeves can be used temporarily instead of framing if one can figure out how to prop them up on a shelf. .

The fold lock feature makes access easy without excessive handling (unlike polyethylene). No scratching.

People to whom I gift or sell unmounted prints often comment on how much more classy these polyester sleeves look than the cheaper polyethylene types they're used to.

I deal mostly with https://www.archivalmethods.com/about-us
 
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I use Printfile polypropylene sleeves pretty much. Although I used to use some of their other sleeves that had a folded edge seam. I use polyethylene bags for ephemera storage.

I think polyester = Mylar. It is very archival. I have some old Mylar from the 60's / 70's and it is crystal clear.

Problem with polyester film leader is it is a dust magnet for static electricity. I prefer acetate film leader on the movie stock. But acetate can suffer from vinegar syndrome.

Some plastics are terrible for archival durability. They yellow over a short time. I got lots of test photos, but can't post em here. Google messed me up when they removed their easy link feature for copyright issues.

For boxes I settled on Hollinger metal edge boxes. I used to use Printfile boxes but had problems with supply and many of them stink like hell. They must use animal glue or something - they reek. Tried the new school plastic archival boxes and hated em. They were dust magnets and warped. Very happy with Hollinger metal edge boxes. For big placements I have used Solander Museum Cases...pricey.
 
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jtk

jtk

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I use Printfile polypropylene sleeves pretty much. Although I used to use some of their other sleeves that had a folded edge seam. I use polyethylene bags for ephemera storage.

I think polyester = Mylar. It is very archival. I have some old Mylar from the 60's / 70's and it is crystal clear.

Problem with polyester film leader is it is a dust magnet for static electricity. I prefer acetate film leader on the movie stock. But acetate can suffer from vinegar syndrom

Some plastics are terrible for archival durability. They yellow over a short time. I got lots of test photos, but can't post em here. Google messed me up when they removed their easy link feature for copyright issues.

For boxes I settled on Hollinger metal edge boxes. I used to use Printfile boxes but had problems with supply and many of them stink like hell. They must use animal glue or something - they reek. Tried the new school plastic archival boxes and hated em. They were dust magnets and warped. Very happy with Hollinger metal edge boxes. For big placements I have used Solander Museum Cases...pricey.


Who sells Hollinger?
I've actually been thinking about making my own .... bad thoughts.
 
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jtk

jtk

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Good to know! Inventory problems occur with mylar sleeves. Perhaps your website should specify "polyester" as well as "mylar"

I didn't Google again but your company's name didn't come up when I recently searched for Fold-Lock mylar sleeves. Maybe that's a brand name issue, maybe other brands are just as good, but maybe that has to do with the way your site identifies products.
 
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Sirius Glass

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I a portfolio to hold my large photographs. Just photographs. I have kept large prints in the for years to protect them from damages.
 
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jtk

jtk

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fwiw I use Fold Lock polyester (mylar) sleeves for 35mm, 120, and 4X5 as well as prints of various sizes. Much less likely to scratch than polyethylene or other soft plastics if only because there's less struggle to insert and remove.
 

fdi

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Good to know! Inventory problems occur with mylar sleeves. Perhaps your website should specify "polyester" as well as "mylar"

I didn't Google again but your company's name didn't come up when I recently searched for Fold-Lock mylar sleeves. Maybe that's a brand name issue, maybe other brands are just as good, but maybe that has to do with the way your site identifies products.

Mylar is Dupont trademarked brand name for their version of polyester. According to University Products polypropylene and polyester can be archival if they are PVC free: https://www.universityproducts.com/polypropylene-vs-polyester/
I trust University Products since they primarily sell to museums.

Thanks for the note about my website. I have made sure that PVC free, polypropylene and polyester show up on the site. Our main focus is picture frames and we mostly sell this stuff as a convenience to our framing customers. You throw stuff like this in with a frame order and its shipping cost will be free.
 
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