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Old 12-24-2007, 07:19 AM   #2
Ralph P
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"Archival quality" generally describes products and materials that are safe for long-term storage and display of paper and collectibles. Art conservation specialists, museum professionals and product suppliers use the following standards and definitions for storage products.

The best-quality plastic storage products use a special type of polyester film, commonly called Mylar, or "archival polyester". You can also store paper collectibles and documents in less expensive Poly storage products. This term often refers to higher quality polypropylene (PP), but is also used for polyethylene (PE). A list of storage product brand names (http://www.dotpattern.com/supplies/s...uct-brands.htm) identifies companies that make mylar and poly products.

Mylar is crystal-clear, very strong, and performs far better than other types of plastic as a barrier against dust, pollution, water vapor and oily fingers. The Library of Congress (http://lcweb.loc.gov/preserv/supply/specs/500-500.html) will use only polyester products (such as Mylar) that "must not contain any plasticizer, surface coatings, UV inhibitors, or absorbents, and be guaranteed to be non-yellowing with natural aging.

Thick, 4-5 mil. mylar storage products are the best for long-term storage of a valuable collection. Economical, 1-2 mil. mylar is used to best display game cards, matchbook covers.

Low Density Polypropylene (PP) and Polyethylene (LDPE) are less expensive than mylar. Storage products made from polypropylene are strong, non-yellowing and less prone to scratching. Clear polyethylene is the least expensive material, acceptable for short-term storage of collectables.

Avoid direct contact between your collection and any products that contain PVC - commonly known as Vinyl (http://www.dotpattern.com/supplies/s...e.html#pvc#pvc) - used in some erasers, 3-ring binders, bubble wrap and adhesive tapes. The ink from artwork and photocopies can 'transfer' onto the surface of (for example) the inside pocket of a vinyl 3-ring binder.

Most important - keep paper and collectibles out of direct sunlight or in an acid-free box. Avoid keeping your collection in the basement or attic where humidity, insects and extreme temperatures can cause damage.
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