What is the difference between album sizes?

We offer a variety of album pages in different sizes to accommodate a wide range of print and negative sizes. Most of our pages will fit standard size albums but some will only fit specific albums, so we have albums in standard size, extra large, medium, compact, and oversized to fit all our pages. Within the description of the album pages you will find links to the albums they fit.

What is the difference between polyester, polypropylene, and polyethylene?

Archival plastic enclosures can be made from polyester, polypropylene or polyethylene.

Polyester is the most inert of the three, it can generate static electricity which attracts dust and is more expensive.

Polypropylene is a stiff, high clarity, and chemically stable plastic.

Polyethylene is also chemically stable and although transparent in its low density form, is not as clear as polypropylene. 

What is the difference between buffered and unbuffered?

When storage materials are “buffered” it means an alkaline substance has been added to counteract the acids that may form in the future and to help absorb acids from artifacts. Alkaline-buffered storage materials usually have a pH of between 7.5 and 9. Most objects can be safely housed in unbuffered neutral pH material (with some exceptions). When in doubt about the type of enclosure or container to use, an unbuffered neutral pH enclosure is recommended. Read more about it and see a list of what items should be stored using buffered or unbuffered materials here- Buffered And Unbuffered Storage Materials.

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 www.imagepermanenceinstitute.com

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.

What is the difference between Glassine envelopes and 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.

Why does Print File chooses 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; 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.