U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | unbuffered mat board and boxes.

unbuffered mat board and boxes.

Both unbuffered mat board and unbuffered storage boxes can be obtained from Light Impressions and almost any other supplier of archival materials.

This buffering business was started by the archivists (of which I am one). The idea was to neutralize
the acid that might be in the paper or the acid produced by the breakdown of lignum fibers or acid acquired by absorption of water vapor and sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide. It seemed and still does seem like a good idea. However, archival science, if you want to call it that, is fairly recent. Library schools used to ignore it but in the last 30 or so years its importance has surfaced. Librarians began to realize that materials were disintegrating as a result of how they were stored. Some horror stories
e.g. PVC plastic sleeves which give of HCl fumes when the plastic breaks down, old "black page"
photo albums in which the paper tests at Ph 2. As a result of some cyanotypes being damaged by buffered materials, the word went out to not use them with cyanotype.

Most people are very unaware that there are a number of materials with limited lifetimes. Some modern examples: digital prints made on a printer with dye based ink, all forms of magnetic media, ordinary CDs and DVDs. A lot of progress is being made in archival storage but only a few are aware of it.

Bob Schramm

Check out my web page at:


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