Basic Archival Quality Information
Gregath Company, Inc. is in the business of producing quality books that are built to last. While there may be lower cost publishing preservationists, the books and archive materials we produce have been constructed to be lasting publications.
Acid free, permanent and archival can be defined many ways. However, it should be noted that both internal and external factors affect the finished product at any given time. Internal factors are those that go into the making of the raw materials. External factors are everything from the atmospheric conditions during publishing (a book produced in a large industrial park may be subjected to caustic factors), heat, humidity and UV light to a book owner's habit of using hand lotion frequently.
Predictions of paper life, as it pertains to publications available in publications, vary widely. In fact, many "doomsday" predictions about wood-pulp paper are proving to be very short-sighted. Even newsprint, when cared for properly, is proving to have a viable life (in public collections), when cared for properly, of well over a hundred years.
Using dedicated high-quality photocopying machines or more often digital scanners and printers, along with archival paper, preservation photocopying economically produces long-lasting reproduction/replacement copies for damaged or deteriorated materials: black and white, color and continuous tone. If desired, books are then bound using techniques and materials that fulfill preservation demands.
A variety of factors can contribute to age deterioration and damage. In repositories, this can lead to non-circulating documents and printed materials that are headed down a dead-end street of "saving" as a form of preservation. Standard archiving as sole method of preservation effectively loses the material. While not advocating wholesale standard photocopying as restoration or preservation, the concept of preservation photocopying bridges the gap left between high dollar professional preservation and budget. Many times, the result stands the test of time as well or better than microfilming.
The quality of a photocopy depends on:
machine making the copy
expertise of the machine operator
imaging materials adhering to the paper
quality of the original image
the completeness of the item
Requirements for a Preservation Photocopy:
Paper must adhere to standards for permanence and durability. Applicable standards are ANSI Z39.48 -- Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials; ASTM D3290 -- Bond and Ledger Paper for Permanent Records; ASTM D3458 -- Copies from Office Copying Machines for Permanent Records. Paper color is generally white or off-white.
Equipment must use a toner with black pigment to produce permanent images.
Copy machine must function at its optimum operating condition to meet the toner's need for heat/pressure setting of the image in the copying process. It may be necessary to have a specific machine dedicated only to preservation photocopying.
Image adhesion to the paper must be tested. Do the tape pull test as described in National Archives and Records Administration Technical Information Paper No. 5. The test should be performed daily on copies from machines routinely used for preservation photocopying and may be performed by customers receiving copies produced by vendors.
Passing the tape pull test means that copied text does not appear -- even the outline of letters or symbols -- in the adhesive of the testing tape when it is slowly lifted off the image.
Each preservation photocopy's image should replicate the original image and its placement in the original including registration of text on verso and recto sides of a page.
Preservation photocopies must be inspected to verify page order, legibility, completeness, clarity, contrast, and accuracy. Quality of the replacement copy should be compared to the source materials.
A preservation photocopy should have a statement identifying the work as a copy. Notice of copy should appear as a separate leaf in the copy. The copy identification statement should indicate that the paper complies with ANSI Z39.48 and may make reference to "poor quality original" to describe limits of photocopying.
Copyright statements about the limited use of copied material may be added to the notice of copy if appropriate. One can never learn too much about Copyright: http://www.copyright.gov.
Preservation replacement photocopies are to be properly housed and stored according to requirements for paper materials.
Original material may be stored as "leaf masters," which may be retrieved for future duplication such as making an additional preservation photocopy or making use of other media conversion technology.
Double Fold, Libraries and the Assault on Paper, Nicholson Baker, 2002
United States Library of Congress
American Library Association's Guidelines for Preservation Photocopying
Digital production specifications provided by equipment manufacturer
30+ years of staff experience and education
For more suggestions on this subject and more, order our book:
G550-$10.00 WRITING Family History Or Genealogy For Pleasure and Profit, by Gregath Company, Inc., *updated* 2015. ISBN: 0-944619-00-2, 8½x11", softbound book, 126 pages, suggestions & examples of all facets of your project for the typist and/or computer user. Also available on disk. Note: All G prefix books 100 pages or more, this one included, that are SB can be special ordered in hard cover edition - contact for details.
Page Last Updated: December 23, 2016
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