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Subject: Storing photographs

Storing photographs

From: Jaap van der Burg <j.vanderburg>
Date: Monday, February 17, 2003
Anne Margrethe Gundersen <anne.gundersen [at] riksarkivaren__dep__no>

>As we are unsure which material we should choose for housing the
>various photos; my question is whether to go for paper
>envelopes/folders for everything. Or maybe a combination of paper
>for glass plates etc. and polyester based sleeves for the prints?

As always with conservation and storage of complete collections
there is no easy answer. Both materials have both advantages and
disadvantages. Some short thoughts


    *   less trapping of acidity and humidity
    *   no visibility of the object


    *   visibility
    *   tapping of acidity and humidity.

So for a proper solution you have to look at both the storage
facilities, its climate and at the planned use for the (near)
future. If your storage is properly climatised (stable--and
low--temperature and RH), the trapping of humidity and acid are
probably not that damaging. If you do not plan to use the collection
frequent the fact that the objects are invisible is not important
and you can use paper. If you do plan to use the objects frequent
the handling of the objects required will be more damaging than
storage in polyester.

Instead of welding the polyester you might
consider the folding of the polyester. Like the self locking sleeves
Gaylord (URL: has. These sleeves are easy to
use, less damaging to the object while inserting it into the sleeve.
Because of the fold they do provide more 'breathing space'  for the

On the other hand (there is always a negative) the objects will fall
out easier when the handling is without proper care.

Though I know this might raise more questions then give answers I do
hope this is of some use to you.

Jaap van der Burg
HELICON conservation support bv
Boerhaaveweg 9-11
2408 AD  Alphen aan den Rijn
The Netherlands
+31 172 234556
Fax: +31 172 233213

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:49
                Distributed: Thursday, February 20, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-49-003
Received on Monday, 17 February, 2003

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