NEDCC• Lealet 5.3: Care o Photoraphs • www.nedcc.or
conditionin can actually raise relative humidity undercertain circumstances.
CoNtrol Air PollutioN AND Dirt
Pollutants and particulate matter can damae photoraphs,causin adin or abrasion. Air purity is especially a concernin an urban environment.Controllin air quality is difcult. Ideally, air enterin astorae or exhibition area should be ltered and puried.Dust should be kept to a minimum. gaseous pollution canbe removed by chemical lters or wet scrubbers. Particulatescan be mechanically ltered. good air circulation is alsonecessary. Make sure air intake vents are not located nearloadin docks where trucks idle. Keep exterior windows closedwhen possible. Also, minimize interior sources o harmul ases. These include photocopyin machines, many constructionmaterials, paint umes, cardboard, carpets, and janitorial sup-plies. Metal cabinets, such as powder-coated steel cabinets,are preerred over wood as wood oten enerates harmulperoxides. Finally, keep photoraphs in archival-qualityenclosures.Enclosures keep dirt o objects and may help decrease theeects o pollutants. Enclosures containin activated char-coals and molecular traps have recently become availableand appear to be eective in this reard.
CoNtrol liGHt levelS
Liht causes embrittlement, yellowin, and adin in photo-raphs. Liht damae is cumulative and usually irreversible.Direct sunliht is the most harmul liht source; incandescent(tunsten) lihtin is enerally preerred to uorescent.However, all orms o liht are damain and should bemoderated.Do not place valuable photoraphs on permanent display.Use copies whenever possible (color laser copies are an in-expensive, readily accessible alternative) and keep liht levelsas low as possible. Avoid hanin photoraphs where theywill be exposed to dayliht, especially direct sunliht, orto unltered uorescent lihts. Both o these liht sourcesenerally ive o hih amounts o damain ultraviolet liht.UV-absorbin sleeves can be used to lter out damain raysrom uorescent tubes and UV- absorbin sheets can be placedover windows or in rames. Also, low UV-emittin bulbs arenow available. Be aware that certain types o photoraphsare much more susceptible to liht damae than others. Mostcolor photoraphs ade rather quickly on display, whilecontemporary ber-base black and white prints are essen-tially stable to liht. The exhibition o nineteenth centuryphotoraphs should be limited and careully controlled.
Finerprints can cause chemical damae to photoraphs,resultin in bleachin or silver mirrorin. Careless handlincan cause physical damae such as abrasion, tears, or break-ae. Use clean loves or clean, dry hands whenever photo-raphs are handled. Don’t touch photoraphic emulsions.Handle photoraphs careully. Proper enclosures (sleeves,albums) provide protection rom nerprints and physicalsupport to protect aainst abrasion or breakae. Wheneverpossible, avoid handlin altoether by providin users withphotoraphic duplication or photocopies.I photoraphs must be labeled, labelin should occuron the reverse alon the ede. In most cases ordinary leadpencils are recommended. Where lead pencils do not work (such as with resin-coated [RC] prints) black India ink is recom-mended. Berol Prismacolor non-photo blue 919, Berol ChinaMarker brite blue 167T, or PITT (Faber Castell) graphitePure 2900B will write on RC paper.
CoNtrol StorAGe SySteMS
Proper storae materials are essential or the lon-termstability o photoraphs and neatives. They provide muchneeded physical support and protection or raile objectsand at the same time act as a barrier between the photoraphand a potentially unstable environment. It is o utmost im-portance that storae materials be unreactive to the photo-raphic material. Much damae has been done in the pastthrouh the use o reactive materials such as acidic round-wood paper sleeves, rubber bands, paper clips, pressure-sensitive tapes, and stainin adhesives such as rubbercement or animal lue.All enclosures used to house photoraphs should meet thespecications provided in the International Oranization orStandardization (ISO) ISO Standard 18902:2001,
and shouldhave passed the Photoraphic Activity Test (PAT) as speciedin ISO 14523:1999.
The rst standard provides specicationson enclosure ormats, papers, plastics, adhesives, and printininks. The PAT has two components: a test to detect imaeadin resultin rom harmul chemicals in enclosures, anda test to detect stainin reactions between enclosures andelatin. Consumers should contact their suppliers to seei their products have passed the PAT.When storin photoraphs it is best or each object to haveits own enclosure. This reduces damae to the photoraphby providin it with physical protection, support, and isola-tion rom any damain components o other photoraphs.Prints and neatives should not be in contact with each otherin the same enclosure. Acceptable enclosures may be madeo either paper or plastic.