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Subject: Binding archival materials

Binding archival materials

From: Jacob J Nadal <jnadal>
Date: Friday, May 2, 2003
In response to Julia Merkel's question about binding archival

The Indiana University Libraries Preservation Dept creates
facsimiles of brittle or severely damaged books and papers on paper
that meets ANSI/NISO Z39.48, printed two-sided, using laser printers
that employ a carbon black toner, and are then either bound by our
commercial binder, Heckmann Bindery, or in-house, depending on the
turn around time needed. These are strictly black and white
facsimiles--the color laser printing world is a little less certain
right now.

In practice, our jobber uses Heidelberg DigiMaster printers, and we
provide them with 20# Perma/Dur Buffered Bond, but there are any
number of other options that will work. The watermark in Perma/Dur
was important to us, since we need be able to quickly make sure our
printer has employed the correct stock.

We also have worked with our jobber to ensure that our documents are
printed later in the day, so that machines have sufficiently warmed
up to give good adhesion of the toner to the page. Under these
conditions, the toner's bond to the paper is likely going to be
stronger than the bond of the paper fibers to one another. We
haven't seen, nor do we anticipate, any problem with "cross
pollination" of toner between facing pages.

Inkjet prints are generally less durable--the dyes tend not to be
light fast. Several manufacturers are offering "archival" inks these
days, that employ pigments to give better light fastness, but in
general I would steer clear of inkjet if possible. The best
permanent inks that I'm aware of are from Cone Editions. Information
at: <URL:> and available for purchase
at: <URL:>

The National Archives and Records Administration published a report
entitled "Archival Copies of Thermofax, Verifax, and Other Unstable
Records" in 1990 and from this developed guidelines for laser
printing and photocopying. A summary and lots of useful technical
information is available at:


    **** Moderator's comments: The above URL has been wrapped for
    email. There should be no newline.

Good luck, and feel free to write with other questions,

Jacob Nadal, Acting Head of Preservation
E. Lingle Craig Preservation Laboratory
Indiana University Libraries

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