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CITE:  from the APS.

See also:

  • Philatelic Stamp Care and Preservation
  • Conservation DistList Archives - An interdisciplinary forum of 'Conservaion OnLine'.  Now called: CoOL (new URL c.2009: an online resource operated by the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation), originally a project of the Preservation Department of Stanford University Libraries, is a full text library of conservation information, covering a wide spectrum of topics of interest to those involved with the conservation of library, archives and museum materials.

    DistListist is open to conservators, conservation scientists, curators, librarians, archivist, administrators, and others whose work life touches on the preservation of cultural property. In addition, if you are a student in museum, library, or archive program, or considering conservation as a career, you may find the DistList an interesting introduction to the work of our field(s).

    What follows are, mostly, anotated excerpts from the APS data at the link above:

    Special Note: "Avoid glassine envelopes and any product made from glassine like the plague."

    Vinyl Films - common PVC and PVDC sheet protectors: "The damage PVC products cause is astronomical."

    Cellulose Acetate - used for industrial and commercial sheet protectors, overlays and overhead drawings ... is not recommended. The plasticizers used in its manufacture on an economical basis are harmful to papers and stamps.
    Polyester Film  RECOMMENDED MOST.

    Dupont trade name Mylar®
        Mylar Type D. An excellent moisture barrier and light in weight, it is available in gauges as thin as 1 or 2 mils. Here are some suppliers of Mylar Type D sheet protectors, envelopes, pouches, mounting sleeves, and other products:

     1. Harold J. Ball - 2836 South Harrison Street - Fort Wayne, Indiana 46807
     2. Taylor Made Company - P.O. Box 406, Lima, PA 19037 U.S.A.
     3. Conservation Resources Int. Inc. - 1111 N Royal St, Alexandria, VA 22314
     4. Archival Conservation Resourses (Canada) Ltd. - PO Box 2506,
          Station D, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5W6, Canada
     5. University Products Inc. - 517 Main St, PO Box 01041,
           Holyoke, Massachusetts 01041 Phone: 800-628-1912 · Fax: 800-532-9281
    web link to: Genealogy Store of Heritage Productions offers (offered?) them (type unstated) in units of 5 or 10.. 3 mil.
    web link to: Advantages of Mylar® Type D - an info page from:
    E. Gerber Products, LLC. - "Supplier to the largest archival supply firms in the world." - 1720 Belmont Avenue - Suite C, Baltimore MD 21244 U.S.A
    E-Mail Toll-free: 800-79MYLAR (1-800-796-9527 US, outside the U.S. 410-944-4200) - Fax: 410-944-9363

    Mellinex Type O
        Mellinex is manufactured by the International Chemical Company (ICI) of England. The film is very similar to Mylar and is also recommended. (the Gerber name above turned up in a search for 'mellinex' but is not mentioned on their web site - aj.)

    Acrylic Plastic - ideal for exhibitions or a display; costs more than glass
    Some of the familiar trade names are Plexiglas, Perspex, Rohaglass, and Lucite Acrylite. This material, with ultra-violet ray absorbers, is ideal for exhibitions or where a display of philatelic items is desired.

    Plexiglas UF-1 (UF-3 is even more effective, but it has a noticeable yellow tint.) is the grade recommended for use in Canada and the United States. It is strong, light in weight, and is many times less breakable than glass. The ultra-violet absorbers eliminate or greatly reduce the amount of transmitted ultra-violet radiation check with the supplier regarding presence of ultra-violet absorbers.

    Lucite SAR is treated with a coating that reduces marring and scratch

    Tip: Do not clean acrylic sheets with cleaners containing ammonia or alcohol as they will cause crazing of the material. A solution of 90% water and 10% isopropyl alcohol is useful for cleaning. Care should be taken to rub the plastic as little as possible. Has a susceptibility to scratching, and a tendency to pick up and hold electrostatic charges. Dry atmosphere and rubbing during cleaning aggravate the latter tendency.

    Polypropylene - a stiff, heat resistant, chemically stable plastic.
    Archival polyprophylene is a special film produced for use in museums and is available from archival supply houses.
    20th Century Plastics, 206 S Puente St, PO Box 2393, Brea, CA 92822 sells attractive polypropylene products intended for archival photo storage. In particular, the 8.5 x 11 inch photo storage pages seem ideal but a word of caution, however: products offered by 20th Century Plastics specifically for use as stamp albums are made of vinyl and should probably be avoided for the reasons mentioned above under "Vinyl." (they're PVC/PVDC).

    Known as TRIA, this is probably second only to polyester as the best film for philatelic purposes. Because of price and availability, it is seldom sold commercially for use in film products.

    Polystyrene - a cause for concern ...

    The Eastman Kodak Company of Rochester, New York, makes an acetate based plastic material known by the trade name of Kodacel. It is available in clear plastic mounting strips with adhesive on the back.

    It is an excellent material for channel mounting strips in exhibition frames.  The strips come in lengths and can be cut to size with scissors. Exhibition pager can be mounted on them and are easily removed from the mounting strip. Kodacel strips are available from Impressions Inc., 439 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, New York 14607.

    Other Notes of Interest

    The USPS now admits its packaging material is not archivable ... not suitable for philatelic archiving. Collectors should head that warning and remove and dispose of the wrapping and backing from such packaging as soon as possible.

    A related matter is the report by Winick (1998) that some of the uncut press sheets and specially die-cut panes are mailed by the United States postal authorities from the USPS Stamp Fulfilment Services in Kansas City, Missouri, in mailing tubes and cardboard flats that are heavily acidic. These should not be used as permanent storage containers.

    From: Tips on Preserving Photographs (and Documents) from Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium: (photo .pdf, document .pdf) Use paper or mylar photo corners or pre-slotted pages to mount photos (or covers - aj.) in albums; do not use adhesives. (think of this as an alternative to hinges)

    For further research:

    The Georgia Archives

    "The Georgia Archives identifies and preserves Georgia's most valuable historical documents."
    and their Preservation Basics for Paper-Based Records
    Preservation Department, University Libraries of Notre Dame and their Web Resources



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