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Subject: Berol Prismacolor art pencil for labeling photographs

Berol Prismacolor art pencil for labeling photographs

From: Frank A. Reynolds <fr0c+>
Date: Friday, February 17, 1995
Mark Vine wrote in part;

> Artemis BonaDea request for information on the suitability of Berol
> Prismacolour art pencils for labelling photographic prints stirs up a
> interesting dilemma for the photographer/custodian /conservator.
> ... Writing implements of any kind in the wrong hands lead to damage,
> whether the medium used be of archival specification or not since the
> real damage occurs from the pressure the writer inflicts on the back of
> the print/item.

Hunt Institute has a collection of over 21,000 portraits which are
primarily photographs.  These photographs are mostly of botanist from
around the world.  I have handled at least 11,000 of them as part of the
Institute's ongoing photographic conservation project.  The condition
that I found many of them in prompted me to type the memo below which
was meant to be used both as an "in-house" guide, and as a guide to
anyone the Institute might request portraits from.  Perhaps someone
could add or "improve" on it.  I might mention that while the first "do
not" is "paper clips", which would seem to be a given to anyone handling
photographs, I have seen more irreparable damage do to paper clips on
photographs, that from writing on them.  And you would be surprised of
the number of photographs we have receive with writing placed on the
front of them (in some cases on or right next to faces)!

                                  ***
    DO NOT place PAPER CLIPS on photographs.

    Avoid UNNECESSARY writing on the photographs.

    If it is necessary to write on the photograph:

        Place all information ON THE BACK of the photograph.
        THINK BEFORE WRITING, keep the information on and the marking of
            the photograph to a minimum.
        WRITE ONLY with a soft lead pencil or an approved pen.
        Avoid EXCESSIVE PRESSURE when writing.
        Keep the writing as NEAR to the top or bottom EDGE of the
            photograph as possible.
        CHECK THE IMAGE to see on what part of it you are writing
            behind. Make sure that you are not writing on the back of an
            important part of the photograph's image, that way if you do
            make a mistake the damage will be minimal.

    DO NOT USE:
        Any of the standard BALL POINT PENS.
        "Non-photographic" felt tip (porous point) pens.
        Rubber stamps.

Frank A. Reynolds
Hunt Institute
Carnegie Mellon University

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:65
                 Distributed: Sunday, February 19, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-8-65-016
                                  ***
Received on Friday, 17 February, 1995

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