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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I obtain a product catalog?

    You may request a catalog via phone at 800-508-8539. The "full-line" product catalog* is free. In trying to be environmentally friendly we encourage you to check our Virtual Catalog, which is an exact duplicate of our catalog where you can flip pages, zoom in on products, click on products to go straight to its information on the website and even print pages off of it. *Catalog prices are subject to change, please consult our website for up-to-date prices.

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  • Your negative preservers say to insert the negative with the emulsion side down. Why and how can I tell which side is the Emulsion side?

    If you contact print your negatives through our preservers, you can take advantage of our exclusive thin backing for clearer contact prints, if the film is emulsion side down. For archival storage purposes, there is no difference. The emulsion side is down if the print on the film edges reads correctly.

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  • What is the best way to write on Print File preservers?

    We suggest using our Permapaque opaque paint markers. Chisel point for wider coverage & Bullet point for finer detail - both points on each marker. Acid-free & non-toxic.

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  • What is the difference between the 35-6HB, CP 35-6HB & ULT 35-6HB?

    The 35-6HB will accommodate six 6 frames 35mm un-sleeved negatives and is made from archival 4.8 mil polyethylene. The CP 35-6HB is exactly the same as the 35-6HB but has an additional 812" x 11" pocket attached to the preserver for a contact sheet. The ULT 35-6HB will accommodate six 6 frames 35mm negatives but the openings are slightly larger in order to accept a strip of sleeved 35mm negatives. The Ultima negative preservers are also 6 mil polypropylene.

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  • Why has Print File chosen a solid seal rather than a stitch seal?

    Our solid seals allow you to insert your negatives more easily without the corners becoming hung-up and causing scratches, wrinkles, or bending of your negatives. A stitch seal increases this risk. Also, solid seals are thinner and allow contact printing of 35mm negative on 8"x10" paper.

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  • Why does Print File choose polyethylene over polypropylene for their negative preservers?

    For almost thirty years, Print File has manufactured negative preservers from polyethylene, an archival material proven safe for maximum long term storage. We use polyethylene since the alternative polypropylene, creates a greater static charge, which consequently attracts more dirt and dust to the negative. In addition, dust and scratches are more noticeable on enlarged negatives and slides; therefore, it is imperative that the conditions to reduce dust and scratches be controlled as much as possible. We optimize these conditions by manufacturing our negative preservers from polyethylene.

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  • Why does Print File use polypropylene and not polyethylene for their print preservers, slide preservers, and album pages?

    We believe the presentation of your valuable photographs requires the clearest and most transparent archival preserver available. Print File's superior polypropylene offers this clarity whereas polyethylene is more translucent. Because the film is protected from rubbing against the film by the mounts, slides are not subject to the same static problems as negatives. Furthermore, photographs are not customarily reproduced from the print and the consequences of dust on the photographs are less critical to the final outcome of your preserved image.

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  • Many Print File products say they have passed the PAT. What is the PAT?

    The Photographic Activity Test (PAT) is a worldwide standard (ISO Standard 14523) for archival quality in photographic enclosures. Developed by Image Permanence Institute in Rochester NY, this test predicts possible interactions between photographic images and the enclosures in which they are stored. The PAT is also used to test the components of enclosures, such as adhesives, inks, paints, labels, and tapes. The test involves incubating materials in temperature- and humidity-controlled chambers to simulate aging and takes from four to six weeks. After incubation and sample evaluation, a final report is provided.
    For more information visit their website at

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  • Why is it important for print, slide, negative and CD preservers to be PVC free?

    PVC or Polyvinyl chlorides are very harmful to photographic material. Any plastic formulated from PVC should be avoided and will cause rapid image degradation. PVC contains and transfers plasticizers, salts, and hydrochloric acid to print emulsion, which is very harmful to photographic material.

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  • What is the difference between Glassine envelopes & BOPP polypropylene?

    Glassine envelopes are not archival quality and should not be used for long-term storage. You should avoid normal glassine. Biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) can be identified chiefly by its superior clarity and "crinkly" or crisp feel. BOPP is growing in popularity among manufacturers of archival products because of the ability to make a nice presentation sleeve as well as being safe for long-term storage.

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  • Do you sell magnetic pages?

    NO, Print File definitely does not sell magnetic photo pages. The pre-applied adhesive that is used on magnetic photo pages is very harmful to photographs. The adhesive will yellow photography and cause substantial premature aging and discoloration to your prints.

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  • What is the difference between the ALB & ARC albums?

    The ALB albums are the Print File premium brand photo album. The ALB is a padded album with a black, textured material covering. The ALB album also has a black polyester laminate interior and a 1.5" satin black D-ring. As an added feature a matching slipcase is available for the ALB-G and ALB-S albums. The ARC albums are a more "utilitarian" choice for photo, slide, negative or CD preserver storage. The ARC album features a highly textured polyethylene interior and exterior. The ARC-G has a 1.5" silver D-ring and the ARC-S and ARC-M feature a 1" silver D-ring. Both albums are completely archival and safe for long-term storage.

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  • What are the advantages to using a slipcase with my album?

    The advantages for using a slipcase are of great importance to consider. The slipcase will keep the album contents free of dust and light. Dust and light can cause many problems in premature degradation of your photos. The slipcase also protects from physical damage of the photo album and the contents. The slipcase allows for convenient storage on a bookshelf and will be more secure on the shelf. A slipcase is highly recommended for proper archival storage.

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  • Why is it important for paper or board to be acid-free and lignin-free?

    An acid-free and lignin-free paper or board is a purified material that will not break down over time and become acidic. A paper or board that is only acid-free and still has lignin content will become acidic. Lignin is an organic substance found in wood pulp. The lignin breaks down into acid and will yellow or discolor the paper or board and whatever else contacts the paper or board.

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  • Are albums or binders the only storage option I have for archiving my valuable negatives, slides, and prints?

    Try our Hanging File System designed specifically for hanging photographic records in standard file drawers or file boxes. Simply slide our SLB-1 hanger (sold separately) into the preserver's I.D. strip and it's ready for hanging. Pages designated as H, HB, and P can be used in the hanging file system.

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  • Does Print File carry any non-archival products?

    Print File's Black Mat products, designed for transparency presentation, LOKSAK waterproof storage and the complete line of Proof Boxes, which is an economical alternative for delivering prints, albums and CDs, are non-archival. We do not recommend these products for long-term storage. All other Print File products are archival quality and safe for long term storage.

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  • How do I find a retailer in my area?

    Click here to find a dealer or distributor in your area.

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  • How long will it take to receive my package?

    Click here for information on delivery times and shipping options.
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  • I live in Hawaii/Alaska/Puerto Rico. How much would the shipping charge be if I placed an order with Print File?

    Ground Flat Rate or Free shipping offer does not apply to Hawaii/Alaska/Puerto Rico. We offer different options by FedEx or US Mail, once you go through the checkout process on our website you will be able to see the different options, please select any of those shipping services.

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  • I live outside the United States; can you ship directly to my country?

    Print File now ships directly to many countries throughout the world and has distributors in over 20 countries. Once you go through the checkout process on our website you will be able to see the different options. If your country is not available you can contact us for other options. We encourage our international customers to contact our international distributors for Print File products. The shipping cost from the United States is very expensive and, especially for smaller orders, be cost prohibitive.

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  • What should I do if I am not completely happy with my Print File purchase?

    We strive most diligently to make every single package that leaves our plant the perfect product you deserve. We spare neither effort nor expense in manufacturing Print File archival preservers. Additionally, we have Quality Assurance personnel constantly monitoring the quality of our products at every step of the production process. We do, however, realize we are not perfect and occasionally, defective products slip through the process. We stand behind every product we sell. If you are not 100% satisfied with our products, please contact us within 90 days of purchase to receive an exchange or refund. If a problem occurs with our product, we will replace the product in a prompt manner or refund the full purchase price. We will also pay all costs involved in shipping the replacement to you.

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Print File 2017-2018 catalog