glassine envelopes

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    • #133026

      These envelopes came up on University Products web site as an alternative for storage of photos. Has anyone tried them? What is the longevity?
      A box of 100 4×5 is less than $10 vs Archival Sleeve protectors at $55 per 100. I am starting to catalog and re-house our museums small collection of several 100 photos and am looking for alternatives. Right now they are in archival folders, in archival boxes but no dividers.

      Site description: These acid-free, buffered glassine envelopes are an economical way to protect prints, negatives and transparencies from fingerprints, dust and dirt. Flat single seam construction.

    • #133031
      Nancy Barthelemy
      Participant

      I don’t know the longevity, but I use them. At my place there are thousands upon thousands of photos never accessioned, still in albums or stapled (yes, stapled) to cardboard. And because of their cost, I decided to use them. My only complaint–not that it’s really that–is that they’re not totally transparent, so to scan or view them, they must be removed. But they are an economical solution. As I said, I know nothing about their longevity.

    • #133030

      I don’t know if the University products envelopes are a different material, but the old glassine envelopes were very damaging, especially as they aged. I have seen photographs with a damaged brown line across them, where the seam of the glassine ran – acid products had leached out of the cut edge of the glassine paper at a higher concentration.
      If you’re having to handle the photographs for scanning, I wonder whether polyester enclosures wouldn’t be better anyway – they provide physical protection as well being chemically more suitable. My apologies in advance if the UP glassine is a different substance to the material used in the past. Has it passed the PAT test ? https://www.imagepermanenceinstitute.org/testing/pat

    • #133029
      Nancy Barthelemy
      Participant

      All I can say is that University Products catalog says they’re acid free and buffered. Beyond that, I’ll have to ask if they have passed the PAT test.

    • #133028
      Susan Knoer
      Member

      I’ve found glassine envelopes that are 60 years old and maybe older. They were not acid-free, from that period, though. Others were shredding after 10 or 30 years.

      Glassine has a definite grain, so it tears much easier in that direction.

      The problems I’ve seen with glassine is in the glue and in the fold. If they pas the PAT, the glue should be no problem, but having a folded flap may leave an indentation over time, which is less likely with stiffer plastics.

    • #133027

      I agree with Helena’s reply. Don’t know if University products has changed the formula for their glassine but glassine is Not an archival material. While its pH is neutral initially, as it ages it becomes more acidic and brittle. This change can occur over as little as a few months (3-6) or over a longer period, depending on the storage environment If you currently use this material you should also check it periodically with a pH pen. As for the new UP material Helena makes a great point about knowing if it has passed the PAT test.

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