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Archives Preservation Through Photocopying by zrk13765


									                                                                     0 Gram
                                                                                         Number 19/4

Archives: Preservation                 Through Photocopying

At the same time parks work to preserve original       that continue to develop over time. As a
documents, the information these documents             result they often discolor and become
contain can often be readily preserved by              illegible, grow increasingly more brittle , and
producing stable copies. Standards have been           exude fumes that can degrade other
developed for producing acceptable, long-lived         documents stored nearby. Before this
copies by plain paper electrostatic (or                information is lost, these documents canI be
xerographic) photocopying onto archival paper,         recopied electrostically, sometimes with
or by silver-based microphotography (e.g.,             enhanced readability. If originals are
microfilm or microfiche). Neither the newer            retained (e.g., because they bear original
magnetic tape nor optical disk technology has, as      signatures), they should be kept in a separate
yet, proven to be a safe means of storing              storage cabinet.
information for very long periods of time.’
This Conserve 0 Gram confines its discussion to      3. In a series of historic correspondence, letters
the procedures and materials used in electrostatic      are written in faded brown ink on a highly
photocopying onto plain paper as a means of             acidic wood pulp paper that is growing
preservation.                                           increasingly brown with age. No money is
                                                        available for conservation treatment, and the
When is Photocopying Useful?                            information is in danger of being lost. A
                                                        copy of each letter, while it does not slow the
There is wide variety in the sizes, types, and          original’s deterioration. at least meserves the

ages of National Park Service document                  convtent .
collections. Stable photocopies can capture the
information on deteriorating original documents,     4. A series of early unbound journal entries of a
or be used by researchers in place of fragile or        well-known writer is used frequently by
valuable originals. The following are examples          researchers. High quality copies can be
of situations in which photocopying can aid in          produced for researcher use, saving the
document preservation and in the preservation of        originals from repeated hand1ing and wear.
the information documents contain.
                                                     5. Files contain a mixture of correspondence
1. A few highly valuable documents are found in         and attached newspaper clippings. The
   a series of files. These originals are removed       newsprint clippings are darkening rapidly,
   from the files, and replaced with photocopies.       cracking off their clips, and transferring dark
   The originals are placed in secure storage,          acid stains to the adjoining correspondence.
   and spared both handling and the risk of theft.      Replacing the clippings with photocopies
                                                        saves both their information and the original
2. Mimeograph’” or ThermofaxTMcopies of park            correspond ence. The original clippings can
   accession records are the only surviving             be interleaved and/or segregated in a separate
   documentation. Chemical reproduction                 folder and their original location in the files
   processes such as these yield unstable copies        noted. Many archives discard clippings after
National Park Service                                                             Conserve 0 Gram 19/4

    copying, provided they contain no hand-           Archives and Records Administration on process
    written notes.                                    and material considerations in producing
                                                      permanent and durable photocopies, and proce-
6 . A childhood letter of a significant figure is     dures for evaluating their quality. Included in
    slated for permanent exhibit at the site. A       the report is a simple on-site test that parks can
    high quality photocopy of the original is         use to evaluate the adhesion of the image to the
    placed on display; the word facsimile is          paper in park copiers, or copiers being
    included in the identifying label copy.           considered for purchase. The results of the
                                                      study’s own adhesion tests on copies made by
7 . A park has agreed to loan a number of             several of the copiers tested are also providecL2
    historic documents to another museum for a
    temporary exhibit. In addition to the             1. 17heCopier. Xerox@, Kodak@, IBM@,
    required loan forms, the staff produces a            Canon@, and Sharp@ are among the numerous
    photocopy of each document for safekeeping.          manufacturers that produce the plain paper
                                                         indirect electrostatic copy machines
Original documents should usually be retained            recommended for archival copying. In this
after photocopying. In some cases, unannotated           process, a copy image is produced on a
newspaper clippings or chemical copies, once             plain, uncoated paper by exposing an
photocopied, may be proposed for                         electrically-charged surface to light reflected
deaccessioning. One aspect of determining                off the original document. The light depletes
whether or not to propose a deaccession is to            the charge in the blank areas, so that a dry or
decide whether or not the document possesses             liquid ink (toner) with the opposite charge
intrinsic value (that is, does the original possess      will be attracted only to the areas that
qualities that even the best copy does not). A           appeared dark on the original. The charged
document can have intrinsic value because of its         toner is transferred to the copy paper in this
close physical or intellectual association to an         pattern, and is then fused in place by heat
important figure, because the information it             and pressure. This process produces copies
contains cannot be adequately copied, or because         with superior permanence because it does not
it is an example of historically interesting             rely on impermanent dyes or on processing
materials or processes itself and so provides            chemicals that can remain in coated papers
physical evidence that its copies would not. The         and continue to develop over time. It is
Regional Curator should be involved in all               important that copy machines be tuned
deaccessioning decisions. Consult the NPS                regularly to manufacturer’s specifications in
Museum Handbook, Part II, Chapter 6 (under               order to produce properly fused images
revision) for deaccessioning procedures.                 capable of meeting archival standards.

How Are Stable Copies Mude?                           2. 77re Toner. Toner is a dry or liquid ink that
                                                         forms the copy image; most available copy
For some of the photocopying projects listed             machines use a dry toner. Only toners
above, the longevity of the copy is a major              containing carbon black are recommended.2
concern. The permanence of electrostatic                 Only toners meeting these specifications
photocopies is dependent on the use of a stable          should be used:
toner, the proper fusing of the toner onto the
paper sheet, the use of a permanent and durable          l   Stable resin materials (e.g., polyesters,
paper stock, and proper storage and handling of              polystyrene, acrylics, epoxies, and
the copy.                                                    copolymers of these)

The Government Printing Office (GPO) has                 l   Stable pigments (carbon black)
published a study conducted for the National

2                                                       Archives: Preservation Through Photocopying
Conserve 0 Gram 19/4                                                               National Park Service

   l   Balanced thermoplastic behavior in the              during copying to minimize damage.
       fusing phase
                                                      2 . In preservation photoconv ing it is important
   l   Adequately fine particle size and                   to get the best possible imagi. Weak
       distribution for desired resolution.3               original images can often be enhanced in
                                                           copying. In addition to contrast selections on
3. me Paper. The American Society for                      the machine itself:
   Testing and Materials (ASTM) has published
   archival standards for both paper and image               A yellow acetate sheet laid between the
   quality in “Standard Specifications for Copies            document and the platen can greatly
   from Office Copy Machines and Permanent                   improve contrast in blue inks, and
   Records” (ASTM D3458-75). Of the                          sometimes in faint black inks or pencil.
   numerous archival quality papers available,
   two papers that meet ASTM maximum                         A yellow acetate or plain white paper sheet
   permanence standard (that is, expected to last            laid behind thin tissue originals, or
   several hundred years under acceptable                    documents with faded or indistinct images,
   storage conditions) are:                                  often enhances contrast.

   Xerox@ XXV Archival Bond, available from                  A sheet of black paper laid behind thin
   local Xerox distributors. (Up to two reams at             paper sheets with writing on the reverse
   a time available free of charge to NPS areas              side may help eliminate the background
   from the Curatorial Services Division,                    image.4
                                                           When producing a preservation photocopy,
   Permalife@ Bond (produced by the Howard                 make sure that any notations appearing on the
   Paper Mills Co.), available from local                  reverse sides of documents are also
   Howard distributors or from Conservation                photocopied.
   Resources International, Inc., 8000-H Forbes
   Place, Springfield, Virginia 22151, (800) 634-      .   To notify researchers that they are working
   6932 and Hollinger Corporation, 3810 South              with a copy and not an original, the staff can
   Four Mile Run Drive, P.O. Box 6185,                     type photocopy or photocopied for
   Arlington, Virginia 22206, (800) 634-049 1.             preservation along the edge of a piece of
                                                           paper. Position this sheet behind the
In addition to a host of other requirements, a             document during photocopying so that the
maximum permanence rating means that the                   label appears on the photocopy. This is an
paper contains no groundwood or unbleached                 optional procedure.
wood pulp, that it has a pH range of 7.5 to 9.5
(that is, well within the alkaline range), and that   5. There is an indication that, as electrostatic
it contains a calcium or magnesium carbonate             photocopies age, the image can continue to
reserve of at least 2%.                                  diffuse onto adjacent sheets. This is
                                                         especially prevalent under pressure and at
When testing a machine for copy quality, use the         high temperatures. Also, contact with vinyl
desired archival paper to evaluate clarity as well       or plastic surfaces (e.g., notebook covers or
as proper fusing.                                        non-archival storage materials) that contain
                                                         plasticizers, can solubilize the toner and
Copying Guidelines                                       cause the image to be lifted from the page.2

1. Conserve 0 Gram 19/7 provides guidelines           6. At the present time there are virtually no
   for handling original books and documents             face-up copy machines available, and so it is

Archives: Preservation Through Photocopying                                                               3
National Park Service                                                                                            Conserve 0 Gram 19/4

     very difficult to copy bound volumes,                                2. Sylvia S.Y. Supt and John G. Koloski,
     including bound ledgers, diaries, or                                    Achival Xerographic Copying, Special
     letterpress volumes, without damaging their                             Development Study (Washington, D. C. :
     bindings. (See Conserve 0 Gram 19/7 for                                 National Archives and Record
     information on copiers suitable for                                     Administration, 1987).
     photocopying books.) Rather than attempting
     to copy historically valuable books in-house,                        3. T.O. Norris, “Introductory Remarks and
     it is recommended that parks acquire                                    Historical Perspective, ” Preservation
     additional copies of published volumes for                              Photocopyingin Libraries and Archives
     use. For bound documents, contract with the                             Conference, December 9, 1986, National
     closest regional conservation center to                                 Archives and Records Administration, p. 7.
     produce a microfilm edition. A hard copy                                (Copies of all the papers presented at this
     can be made from this microfilm by the                                  conference are available to NPS units from
     copy_flo  process in which microfilm images                             Curatorial Services Division, WASO.)
     are enlarged, printed, and bound.
                                                                          4. T. Prentiss and B. Brown, “Photocopying in
Conclusion                                                                     Archives, ” American Archivist (Bentley
                                                                               Historical Library, University of Michigan,
For the limited projects that frequently arise in                              1981): pp. 259-260, and Henry J. Gwiazda,
park museum collections, electrostatic                                         “Preservation Decision-making and Archival
photocopying can supplement conservation                                       Photocopying: Twentieth-Century Collections
efforts in the preservation of both historic                                   at the Kennedy Library,” Preservation
documents and the information they contain.                                    Photocopying in Libraries and Archives
However, photocopying is not always the best                                   Conference (Washington, D.C. : National
reproduction method. Microphotography is                                       Archives and Records Administration, 1986):
preferred for bound volumes, for complete series                               p. 10.
of documents that can be arranged in final order,
when readers or reader/printers can be made
available to patrons, or when multiple copies or
off-site use may be desirable.                                            Anne Jordan
Notes                                                                     Roosevelt-Vanderbilt  NHS
                                                                          National Park Service
                                                                          Hyde Park, New York 12538
1. National Research Council, Preservation of
   HistoricalRecords (National Academy Press,                             Formerly issued as Conserve 0 Gram 2113. Revised 1993.
   1986): p. 86.

The Conserve 0 Gram series is published as a reference on                 The series is distributed to all NPS units and is available to non-NPS
collections management and curatorial issues. Mention of a product,       institutions and interested individuals by subscription       through the
a manufacturer,   or a supplier by name in this publication does not      Superintendent    of Documents,    U.S. Government      Printing Office,
constitute an endorsement of that product or supplier by the National     Washington,    D.C. 20402, FAX (202) 512-2233.                For further
Park Service.    Sources named are not all inclusive.   It is suggested   information and guidance concerning any of the topics or procedures
that readers also seek alternative product and vendor information in      addressed in the series, contact the National Park Service, Curatorial
order to assess the full range of available supplies and equipment.       Services Division, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, (304) 535-6410.

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