Sunday, 17 October 2010

Have you placed your valuable research in clear PVC sleeves? Oh No!

Widely found and used to store documents and other memorabilia, PVC clear plastic pockets are a definite NO to any family historian. The number of people who approach me at Family History Fairs with old and fragile original family documents (certificates, wills etc) in PVC pockets is astonishing. What is more surprising is they are not aware of the long term damage PVC can cause to their precious documents.

PVC has plasticisers added that make the PVC soft and pliable. These plasticisers over time migrate into the document and destroy the print and also eat into the paper. You will have seen examples of this when you try to remove a long term stored document and the PVC pocket is sticky and has some of the print transferred from the paper onto the plastic.

The archival way of storing your documents is to use acid free inert clear PP (Polypropylene) or PET (Polyester) pockets. These two are widely used by professional archivists to ensure safe storage of valuable documents and memorabilia. PP is by far the most common type used mainly because of availability and the lower price. The benefit of using PET (used by more professional bodies) is the ultra clarity and generally more lightweight gauge of pocket.

If you want more information on archival pockets see http://www.familytreefolk.co.uk/page_11048.html

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