U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | RE: buffered matte board??

RE: buffered matte board??

  • To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
  • Subject: RE: buffered matte board??
  • From: Gawain Weaver <gawain.weaver@gmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 22:48:31 -0400
  • Comments: "alt-photo-process mailing list"
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It's interesting to hear your observations about this, and I hope that
others will speak up if they have had similar experiences. Such anecdotal
evidence has been cited in the past and is the reason behind many people's
use of unbuffered matboard for storing cyanotypes.

Though I tried to word it carefully, I should clarify one thing. Such
anecdotes do not disagree with my intended statement, which is only that it
has not been demonstrated to be harmful. By which I mean, there has been no
published experimental work.

Gawain Weaver

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert W. Schramm [mailto:schrammrus@hotmail.com] 
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 9:40 PM
To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
Subject: RE: buffered matte board??

I must slightly disagree with Gawain Weaver's statement. I have actually 
used mild alkaline solutions to bleach or lighten cyanotypes. A cyanotype 
matted in a buffered board will be unaffected provided that the humidity is 
low. I have seen cases where there has been some bleaching of the edges of a
cyanotype print where it has been in close proximity to a buffered matt 
board probably as a result of being kept in a higher humidity environment. I

would not take the chance of using buffered board to matt any of my 
cyanotype prints that I consider worth matting. I'm not sure about 
but why gamble when unbufferd board doesn't cost any more.?

Bob Schramm

Check out my web page at:


>From: Gawain Weaver <gawain.weaver@gmail.com>
>Reply-To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
>To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
>Subject: RE: buffered matte board??
>Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 17:38:59 -0400
>Since the same question came up on a conservation listserv last year, and 
>opinion hasn't changed since then, I will copy and paste my response below.
>I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has had a negative
>experience using buffered matboard for the storage of photographic prints 
>any kind.
>There is no definitive list of which photographic processes are most suited
>to unbuffered enclosure materials because there is no evidence that 
>enclosures are harmful. The "list" often includes cyanotypes, chromogenic
>prints, dye transfer prints, and albumen prints. The issue of alkaline
>materials affecting albumen prints was first raised in the early 1980s by
>James Reilly based on his research at RIT. By 1984, and after further
>testing, Reilly retracted his initial statement that alkaline buffering in
>enclosure materials is deleterious to albumen prints. There has been no
>research since then to suggest otherwise. The other processes have made it
>on the list based on theoretical speculation. For example, it is well-known
>that a cyanotype will undergo fading by alkaline hydrolysis when placed in
>an alkaline solution. Dye transfer and chromogenic prints can also be
>negatively affected by such treatment. However, it has not been 
>that the alkali reserve used in buffered enclosures has any negative effect
>upon any of the photographic processes.
>There is some concern that in a disaster involving water, the alkali 
>from the enclosure could raise the pH of the water in which a print is
>immersed. Based on such considerations, some have chosen to "play it safe"
>and use unbuffered enclosure materials for cyanotypes, and less frequently,
>for other processes as well.
>Gawain Weaver
>Andrew W. Mellon Fellow
>Advanced Residency Program in Photograph Conservation
>George Eastman House
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Hans Klemmer [mailto:hansklemmer@mac.com]
>Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 3:54 PM
>To: alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca
>Subject: buffered matte board??
>Does anyone have a comprehensive list regarding
>which processes need buffered mattes and which need unbuffered mattes?
>Hans Klemmer

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