July 21, 2014 at 10:53 am #131839
Hello C2C group,
I’m looking for some help determining which paper is best to use as filler. I have boxed bound documents but there is extra room left in the box. Is it necessary to use acid-free, buffered paper to fill voids in a box like this or would ordinary brown paper be ok? I realize that in an ideal world, acid-free, buffered would be best, but I’m wondering how necessary it is to spend several hundred dollars on a roll of paper used only as filler.
Thanks for any ideas/guidance!
July 21, 2014 at 11:08 am #131846Connie HouchinsMember
Depending on how many boxes you have, you can buy a roll of unbuffered tissue at Gaylord for under $100. I use this type of tissue and would not use brown paper as it no doubt is acidic.
July 21, 2014 at 11:30 am #131845
Thank you, Connie!
July 21, 2014 at 11:31 am #131844Ella RayburnMember
You can also make spacers from blue board sold by Gaylord. Look in the catalog and they have pre-scored spacers, but you can certainly make your own after seeing the example. You can put a sheet or two of buffered paper between the blue board and the objects, if needed.
You wrote “box” as in “one” — many brands of photocopier paper are acid free. Can use them as filler.
I have blue board and acid free tissue on hand and use them frequently as we continue cataloging a huge back log. 6000 done and probably 1500 to go.
On another note, I find having and using an acid-tester pen of value. It is quick and lets you know acid or not.
July 21, 2014 at 11:42 am #131843Helena JaeschkeMember
When packing a museum collection recently for temporary storage we found it was very helpful to make up rolls of clean polythene bubblewrap and wrap them in acid-free tissue. We even created bubble wrap pillows in the museum (which meant we could control the quality of the air in the bubbles) by hiring an airpillow inflating machine and some rolls of different size bubble wrap. You can buy smaller versions of this e.g. http://www.davpack.co.uk/protective-packaging/air-cushion-system/air-cushion-machine.htm?gclid=CK2ogM3e1r8CFeTItAodyzAADQ
That way we had very light, inert packaging to fill up voids without risking crushing (from the weight) or scraping ((sharp edges of crumpled paper) the objects. Paper, being cellulose, is very heavy for its volume.
Another alternative would be to use spacers of Ethafoam or Plastazote.
Hope this helps.
July 21, 2014 at 11:43 am #131842Harriet BeckertMember
We have used the spacers offered by Gaylord with somewhat mixed results. We are now experimenting with boxes we make out of the blue board which seem to be sturdier. We have made them in various sizes to accommodate changing needs.
Anything that you use should definitely be acid free. Good luck.
July 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm #131841
Thank you to all for the suggestions:)
July 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm #131840Ron KleyParticipant
It’s worth remembering that most (in fact, nearly all, general purpose paper being manufactured today is “acid free,” and will pass the pH pen test. This is because the papermakers add calcium carbonate to the peper pulp to neutralize its acidity — not out of kindness to curators and archivists, but to extend the life of their machinery. Go into a Dollar Store and check their gift-wrap tissue, or an office supply store and check their copy paper, or a party supply store and check their rolls of table-covering paper. Odds are it will all be acid free, and a hellova lot less costly than anything from an archival supplier. That’s the good news.
The not so good news is that “acid free” paper, if made from wood pulp, is not “lignin free,” and lignin will decomose over time to turn the paper acidic. “Over time” is hard to define. It’s likely be be measured in years, and it’s doubtlessly dependent upon temperature, humidity, and how highly buffered the paper was to start with. Still for people and instututions that have to stretch their dollars, this is something to keep in mind.
Arm yourself fith a pH pen (the ones sold by art supply stores to scrapbookers (typically for a buck or less) are functionally identical to those sold by archival suppliers for $4.95 or more, plus shipping. Take one with you as you browse through various stores and check their paper products for acidity or the lack of it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
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