December 2005, V4#12: Production Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

A Little About Archival Quality

External Factors Beyond Production

If the books are shipped from the publisher to the author, the heat of summer or the cold of winter will subject the books to extremes in temperature. Humidity can become a factor, even before the books are sold, especially in the summer in the south.  Books stored where light from a window falls on them directly subjects them to harmful UV.  Highly urban areas may have high air pollution that could affect the books. Skin itself (body oil, sweat, finger food grease, etc.), from the reader, can adversely affect the book, as well.  The list can go on and on…

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: Production Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

A Little About Archival Quality

Internal Factors

  • Binding

The various binding processes that are employed take the same care to negate acidity as the care of paper selection noted above.

External Factors – Production

  • Gregath Printing Facility

Our printing plant is in a rural area with low air pollution.  While we are not a “white glove” facility, our employees are kept to a “clean hands” policy, which minimizes the amount of oils on the skin (guarding against acid transfer), as well as taking precautions to further lower particulates and chemicals in the air, in-house. Our physical plant is kept at an optimum temperature with a low relative humidity (down to 45%).

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