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Re: So, what then is "glassine" really?

There's a lot of confusion out there about glassine paper, glassine paper
mending tape, and buffering, and I can't hope to clear it all up with this
posting, but here are a few thoughts/observations.

Old glassine tape/paper will yellow and become brittle, but I have yet to
see damage caused to adjacent paper.

Glassine paper is not a barrier to the migration of volatile oils from
old printing inks, as Betty has noticed, but without seeing the interleaving
papers I cannot say whether they were glassine, or (as was common) Japanese
tissue paper.

But I will take exception to the Gaylord catalog assertion that: "The ANSI
Standard for black and white storage is buffered material."  I do not have
the Gaylord catalog or the ANSI standard handy so I will leave it at that

Gelatin is stable in a slightly acid environment, and buffered material
is slightly abrasive.

I have been involved as an expert witness in a court case where I was able
to demonstrate that buffering compounds caused permanent damage to images
because they were/are abrasive.


>From:    Caryl Seidenberg <Caryl360@AOL.COM>
>Subject: Re: So, what then is "glassine" really?
>So, we know that glassine tape can yellow and mess up etc etc but what about
>the paper? Is it pH neutral, what does it do to stuff it's very close to for
>a long time?
>Caryl The Vixen Press

>Date:    Mon, 21 Jun 1999 07:24:16 -0700
>From:    Betty Storz <storz@MCN.ORG>
>Subject: Re: So, what then is "glassine" really?
>I have some 8 1/2" x 11" glassine that I bought from Light Impressions
>several years ago to replace the wrinkled, torn interleaving between
>photos, etc., in a book I was repairing. Later, I stopped using it after I
>noticed that the original glassine(?) had not prevented acid migration in
>other old books in which it had been used. The images were apparent on the
>following text pages, usually as white spaces surrounded by yellowish-brown
>foxing. The photographs were usually printed on coated paper, of course,
>which was probably acidic to begin with.
>The glassine now advertised in the Light Impressions catalog is neutral PH
>and nonbuffered. "We do not recommend glassine for photographic storage."
>The Gaylord Archival catalog, p. 68, has an informative tip on the care of
>negatives and prints and when to use buffered or unbuffered materials. "The
>ANSI Standard for color storage is non-buffered material. The ANSI Standard
>for black and white storage is buffered material."
>I have no idea whether the interleaving in those old books was buffered or
>not, but, given the age, pre-1850, I would assume not.
>Perhaps Peter Verheyven can explain more about the use of glassine as
>interleaving in books.

Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Laboratory

503/735-3942  (voice/fax)


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