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Archival, rigid sleeves for photos etc

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Hi guys. I'm looking for an archival alternative to the BCW rigid top loaders. I have been using them for years but have read quite a few negative things about PVC (what they are made of) and long term storage.

 

Any truly archival alternatives out there?

Thanks!

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Hi guys. I'm looking for an archival alternative to the BCW rigid top loaders. I have been using them for years but have read quite a few negative things about PVC (what they are made of) and long term storage.

 

Any truly archival alternatives out there?

 

Thanks!

 

They say the rigid PVC is safe because it has no plasticizers or stearates

 

"BCW Toploads are manufactured from rigid Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) which contains no plasticizers or stearates (a salt or an ester of stearic acid). They will not migrate or harm your cards, photographs, or prints. BCW Toploads come in a variety of sizes and are an inexpensive way to store and display your collectables."



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They say the rigid PVC is safe because it has no plasticizers or stearates

 

"BCW Toploads are manufactured from rigid Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) which contains no plasticizers or stearates (a salt or an ester of stearic acid). They will not migrate or harm your cards, photographs, or prints. BCW Toploads come in a variety of sizes and are an inexpensive way to store and display your collectables."

 

I've been reading (probably too much) and a lot of articles have said that pvc can transfer and cause an oily residue on photos, etc.

 

Is rigid PVC a different material?

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Try wilsonjones heavy weight sheet protectors, they are archival safe and acid free. We use them in the museum for document preservation/conservation.

 

It also depends on what size items you are trying to preserve..

 

Search Gaylord Archival and Universal Products,, both companies are well know museum suppliers..

 

Leigh


"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Try wilsonjones heavy weight sheet protectors, they are archival safe and acid free. We use them in the museum for document preservation/conservation.

 

It also depends on what size items you are trying to preserve..

 

Search Gaylord Archival and Universal Products,, both companies are well know museum suppliers..

 

Leigh

 

Thanks!

Gaylord Archival is the company that stated that you should avoid all PVC products.

BCW claims their PVC toploaders are archival which is why I'm confused.

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It's competitive marketing.. One company is wanting your business and straying you from other potential companies that sell the same products..

 

Leigh


"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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BCW claims their PVC toploaders are archival which is why I'm confused.

 

As I understand it, PVC without plasticiser is different. They are used to make the PVC flexible and not used in rigid PVC.



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As I understand it, PVC without plasticiser is different. They are used to make the PVC flexible and not used in rigid PVC.

 

That makes sense!

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That makes sense!

 

Since anyone reading this far must be into plastic :) let's add that the soft vinyls are not only bad for documents, but they can melt when in contact with styrofoam. Here's something I wrote in a 2013 thread about this. This concerned a foam head metling onto the synthetic vinyl sweatband inside an overseas cap.

 

The culprit is the PVC. The plasticizers leaching out attack the styrofoam. Remember the "new car" smell in those big old Detroit cars of yesteryear? That was the smell of the nasty chemicals in the seat covers, etc. outgassing into the air. If you leave electronics gear in the original foam packing for a long time, you may find that the PVC power cord has foam attached to it from the same leaching process.

Leather would not do the same thing to styrofoam.

There is a different problem with the kind of soft, usually grey, foam used in some small plastic medals cases (it's also used in earphone pads, flight helmet pads, etc). That stuff breaks down over the years and gets hard and crumbles to dust if you touch it.



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Since anyone reading this far must be into plastic :) let's add that the soft vinyls are not only bad for documents, but they can melt when in contact with styrofoam. Here's something I wrote in a 2013 thread about this. This concerned a foam head metling onto the synthetic vinyl sweatband inside an overseas cap.

 

The culprit is the PVC. The plasticizers leaching out attack the styrofoam. Remember the "new car" smell in those big old Detroit cars of yesteryear? That was the smell of the nasty chemicals in the seat covers, etc. outgassing into the air. If you leave electronics gear in the original foam packing for a long time, you may find that the PVC power cord has foam attached to it from the same leaching process.

Leather would not do the same thing to styrofoam.

There is a different problem with the kind of soft, usually grey, foam used in some small plastic medals cases (it's also used in earphone pads, flight helmet pads, etc). That stuff breaks down over the years and gets hard and crumbles to dust if you touch it.

 

Great info. Thanks!

So in general, is PVC without plasticizers safe for documents/collectibles?

 

I also store flat metal pieces in the BCW toploaders.

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Great info. Thanks!

So in general, is PVC without plasticizers safe for documents/collectibles?

 

I also store flat metal pieces in the BCW toploaders.

 

I can find nothing to refute what BCW claims



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Excellent...

 

I can find nothing to refute what BCW claims

 

I would add, in museum best practices, we rarely, rarely, ever used ANY kind of plastic anything in contact with paper documents (such as photographs) for long-term storage/preservation.

 

Preferred, by far, was neutral pH interleaving tissue between each artifact.

 

There are several producers, this is one of the reliable ones:

https://www.universityproducts.com/photo-products/interleaving-tissues-and-papers


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Excellent...

 

I would add, in museum best practices, we rarely, rarely, ever used ANY kind of plastic anything in contact with paper documents (such as photographs) for long-term storage/preservation.

 

Preferred, by far, was neutral pH interleaving tissue between each artifact.

 

There are several producers, this is one of the reliable ones:

https://www.universityproducts.com/photo-products/interleaving-tissues-and-papers

Can I ask why you dont use plastics?

 

Im actually mainly using these for metal stencils. Do you think that is ok?

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Plastics tend to "off gas" and the residual breakdown of the chemicals in the plastic can damage some items as the off gass by products could settle on emulison/paper/negatives/cloth etc..

 

Keep in mind this off gas process happens over a period of several years but under "perfect" circumstances of heat and cold combined, the process could be speeded up if the plastic is exposed to sunlight (like sitting on a table under a window without curtains in direct light, this will help the breakdown process speed up)

 

If you are storing metal stencils you should be alright if you wrap the stencils in acid free paper to have a buffer between the plastic and metal..

 

There are some decent archival conservation books that discuss many of these topics available... Do a google search for Archival Conservation Books and you will see some of the topics available. They range from art to books to textiles and other subjects..

 

Leigh


"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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donation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gif

 

 

 

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Thanks guys. I am storing things that I want to also be able to view/display. So I really need something clear. And I have large quantities, so professionally framing them all isn't an option.

 

Are there no options for that? I'd prefer to not keep them hidden away in a box with paper between them

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