Suppliers and guide to selecting preservation materials
This guide aims to provide information to help you select appropriate, safe enclosure materials to store and preserve your personal collections. A list of suggested suppliers of preservation materials is also provided.
Some things to consider
A good approach to housing your collections is to provide several layers of protection by first placing individual objects into sleeves or envelopes, then into suitable boxes or folders.
Always be cautious when purchasing storage material. Many commercially available enclosures are labelled 'archival' or 'acid-free'. However, some of these items may contain lignin, dyes, sizing agents, coatings, plasticisers, or other harmful additives. Always ask for product specifications and if in doubt consult a conservator.
Never use enclosures made from unprocessed wood pulp paper, glassine, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Never laminate objects that are precious to you as the process is irreversible and deteriorates with age. The process itself is also harmful to the object as it contains heat, adhesives and pressure.
Paper or Plastic archival enclosures?
- There are two main materials used for archival enclosures: paper and plastic.
- The choice between paper and plastic enclosures should be based on the type of object being housed and its condition, the anticipated amount of use, financial resources, and environmental storage conditions.
- Items that are used frequently can be abraded by repeated removal from and insertion into paper enclosures, thus plastic may be more suitable as the object can be viewed in-situ. In areas of high humidity, paper enclosures should be used as they allow greater airflow, thus preventing the creation of microclimates within storage enclosures.
- Material that may potentially off-gas harmful acidic by-products (e.g. cellulose acetate and nitrate film) should also be housed in paper enclosures, as it allows air exchange thus minimising detrimental build up of acids.
- Use the table entitled Selecting safe enclosure materials to help make the right selection.
- Always make sure the method of storage selected is reversible so that you can safely remove your collections without damaging them if you notice any problems.
For more information
Please visit the National Archives of Australia’s website - http://www.naa.gov.au/records-management/agency/preserve/physical-preservation/pat.aspx.
Suppliers of preservation materials
Note: State Library of Queensland does not endorse the suppliers listed
(Storage products. Authorised stockist of Albox products)
Phone and mail orders accepted
Level 1, State Library of Queensland
Cultural Centre, Stanley Place
South Bank QLD 4101
p: (07) 3840 7576
(Storage enclosures and conservation supplies)
PO Box 1139, Doncaster East VIC 3109
p: 1300 781 199
f: 1300 781 146
Conservation Resources (is the supply business of Preservation Australia)
(Storage enclosures including polyester sleeves and sheeting, and conservation supplies)
PO Box 210, Enmore NSW 2042
p: 1300 651 408
f: 1300 651 406
Image Permanence Institute
(A-D strips – Test strips used to measures free acidity produced by degrading cellulose acetate film)
Rochester Institute of Technology/ IPI
70 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester NY 14623-5604 USA
f: (585) 475 7230
Preservation Australia (please see Conservation Resources)
(Ageless sachets and Cryovac plastic – used for low oxygen treatment)
Unit 3, 5 Henry St, Loganholme QLD 4129
p: (07) 3451 1444
Studio 105 (Michael Marendy)
(Authorised Queensland distributor of Albox storage products)
PO Box 444, Toowong QLD 4066
p: (07) 3870 2675
f: (07) 3871 2457
(Polypropylene 16mm film cans and cores, polystyrene 8mm cans and reels)
5301 S. Superstition Mountain Drive
Gold Canyon AZ 85118
Zetta Florence Fine Paper Pty Ltd
(Storage enclosures and conservation supplies)
197B Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
p: (03) 9417 3365 or 1300 784 684
Level (of suitability):
1 – Conservation standard
2 – Use but monitor regularly
|Enclosure material||Uses||Suitable heritage objects||Availability||Level||Potential issues|
PETE: Polyethylene Terephthalate (uncoated)
PP: Polypropylene (uncoated)
HDPE: High Density Polyethylene
|Paper and Board|
Buffered archival paper 100% cotton fibre (cellulose), lignin-free (alkaline buffered)
Rag paper: 100% cotton fibre (cellulose), lignin-free paper (unbuffered).
|Photomount board : 100% cotton fibre (cellulose), lignin-free mount board (unbuffered)||1|
|Museum Mount board : 100% cotton fibre (cellulose) mount board (buffered)||1|
Unbuffered acid-free Tissue: cotton or linen pulp, no buffering.
Buffered acid-free tissue: cotton or linen pulp, 3% calcium carbonate buffering.
The procedures described here have been used by State Library of Queensland in the care of its collections and are considered suitable by State Library as described; however, State Library will not be responsible for damage to your collections should damage result from the use of these procedures
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