November 2005, V4#11: Production Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

A Little About Archival Quality

External Factors – Production

  • Offset Printing (generally 100 or more books)

Offset printing involves chemicals which may overcome the buffering of the standard paper to some extent.  The process takes place at room temperature with standard lighting and both sides of the page are printed at once.  We use a non-oxidizing, rubber base ink (pH-N/A) rather than an oil base.

  • Digital Printing (generally 99 or fewer books)

The paper is subjected to high heat and light during the initial transfer process.  Note it goes through this process twice for book pages, once for each side.  The black powder toner seems to have quite a resistance to secondary heat sources.

October 2005, V4#10: Define Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

Paper Opacity: property which minimized to “show through” of printing from the book side of the next sheet.

Uncoated: Paper with no surface treatment; the printing surface is the stock itself.

Absorbent Paper (see Paper): Covering a variety of papers made for absorbing water and inks (degrees vary).  Examples: duplicating, filter, blotting and toweling papers.

March 2005, V4#3: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

A large number of genealogists are taking advantage of the resources of the internet.  Just because you can find a document or GEDCOM online today doesn’t mean it will be there (or free of charge) tomorrow or 20 years from now.  Because of this, it is a good idea to treat computer print outs for your files/archives to reduce their acid level as much as is comfortable implementing.  Here are a few tips:

  • use acid free paper

  • only print on one side

  • only run the paper through the printer once

  • if you don’t use only acid free paper, you might invest in a second printer that uses only acid free

  • when buying a new printer consider the composition of the ink it uses

  • if possible, take a “junk” print out from the printer and wet it down to test it’s water resistance – if it runs, you need to select another printer for your file copies

  • when making notations on the print outs, make sure to use archival quality ink pens (widely available, if in doubt – head for the scrapbooking section)

  • don’t use paperclips, staples, rubber bands, adhesive (unless archival and absolutely needed), post-it notes, etc.

  • store in acid free folders, etc.

  • keep temperature and humidity steady and comfortable.

For more information visit
http://www.gregathcompany.com/gstore.html
http://www.gregathcompany.com/sstore.html

November 2002: V1#3: Book Design Wednesday, Dec 24 2008 

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind during time you are in preparation process (unless you are informed by your printer/publisher it is incorrect) is “what you see, is what you get”. For the best results use a smooth white paper.  Expensive “top of the line” computer paper is not necessary, a good “typing” copy machine or all purpose paper is fine.  Avoid colored (cream, gray, etc.), aged colored and textured (pebbled, linen finish, etc.) as well as ultra thin (onionskin, etc.) papers. Make sure that the print is clear, consistent and as dark as possible throughout. In the end, you will be much happier if the typewriter or (non laser or DeskJet) printer used contains a carbon film ribbon, is in good mechanical working order and has clean unbroken strikers. More and more people are acquiring laser or bubble jet/DeskJet printers and these make a very nice camera ready manuscript. In good faith, we can not recommend manual typewriters, fabric ribbons, dot matrix printers, or low quality DeskJet/bubble jet printers for a good finished product. Electric typewriters, daisy wheel or ball printers and laser or bubble jet/DeskJet printers (on high quality settings) can be borrowed or rented in most areas.