Thursday, April 30, 2009

Archival Scrapbooking-4th Saturday Recap

Archival Scrapbooking

Here's some great information we found at about keeping your scrapbooks safe.

Each piece of information you scrapbook is of great importance, and after putting forth all the effort to memorialize this information, it would be nice for it to last for generations to come.

Following are some helpful tidbits to help you increase the longevity of your scrapbook pages.

You work with scads of different documents; photographs, newspaper clippings, birth certificates, war records, and each are essential in telling a family's story. However, these articles can deteriorate rapidly when exposed to acids in paper, improper albums, neglectful storage, and the use of ordinary writing utensils.

What Affects the Life of Your Scrapbook Albums?

Temperature – If you want to accelerate a chemical reaction, increase the temperature. The higher the temperature the more rapid the deterioration of your album. A rule of thumb is that a ten degree increase doubles the reaction rate. The recommended storage temperature is 77 degrees F or lower.

Humidity – Dampness promotes mold growth. This becomes possible when humidity increases above the 65% range. Humidity can cause corrosion of metal components in your album. And too low of humidity can cause shrinkage and embrittlement of paper. The recommended range is 30% - 50%.

Acid – Causes corrosion, brittleness, discoloration, and other problems. Acidity is measured by pH, which is a scale from 0 to 14. Below 7 indicates acidity. The lower the number the higher the level of acid. Above 7 is considered acid free.

UV Light – Can lead to fading and degradation of photos, plastic and paper.

So What Can You Do?

Storage – Keep your albums in your living areas, as these will be the most environmentally controlled places in your home. Avoid high moisture areas or near heat-generating appliances. Make sure pests such as insects or mice cannot get into your albums. Store albums flat , rather than on end. This is less stressful on the bindings and edges.

Materials – Use only archival quality albums and acid free, lignin-free papers, page protectors, adhesives, photo corners, stickers, inks and so forth. Everything you put in your album must be acid free. The acid can bleed and transfer to non-acidic materials. De-acidify any documents or papers with Archival Mist. You can use a pH testing pen to test any papers you want to use to see if they are acid-free.

Display – Avoid leaving your scrapbook pages open for extended periods of time near sunlight or fluorescent lights, which are a source of UV radiation. This will minimize fading.

Handling – Don’t stress the binding by bending the cover back on itself.

Cleaning – If you must clean an album, avoid any solvent or detergents. Use a soft brush, vacuum or clean air blow-off instead. Pictures should be cleaned with a photo cleaning cloth to remove oils, fingerprints, and dirt.

Copyright Your Family Legacy, LLC.

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