Why Do I Need Archival-Quality?

Why Do I Need Archival-Quality?

When beginning your preservation journey, it can be overwhelming. You might find yourself saying, "Why is this box better than one I can get for half the price at the craft store? It's acid-free, isn't that enough?" We hear it all the time.

The reality is that products that don't meet or exceed the standards set by the Library of Congress can cause your photographs, papers, garments or textiles to deteriorate FASTER. Yikes!

We created this infographic to outline what specifications you should be looking for when choosing storage materials.Why Archival? Acid-free is just one piece of the preservation puzzle!

Why Archival?

Acid-free is just on piece of the puzzle!

  • Lignin-Free - Lignin is removed from the wood pulp because it produces acids and darkens paper.
  • Thickness (point, lb., mil) - Archival enclosures are the ideal thickness for the size of the enclosure to provide the necessary support for fragile objects.
  • Safe Adhesives - Adhesives are pH neutral and don't contain damaging chemicals. Learn more >
  • Layers of Protection - Archival products are designed to work together to create layers of protection and support.
  • Passed P.A.T. (Photographic Activity Test) - To ensure materials are safe for storing sensitive photos. Learn more >
  • Acid-Free - pH is 7.0 or greater at the time of manufacture.
  • Design - Archival enclosures have features that help minimize damage during storage and handling.
  • Inert Plastics - Plastics used are safe for preservation. Learn more >
  • Buffered Materials - An alkaline buffer is added to some products to neutralize acids from items being preserved. Learn more >
  • Reactive Chemicals - Archival materials don't contain harmful additives.
  • UV Protection - Opaque or UV-filtering materials help prevent light damage and fading.
  • Rigorous Standards - Meets/exceeds specs required by renowned preservation institutions. Learn more >
  • Construction - Archival enclosures are built to stand the test of time.

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