by Nancy Kraft for the Iowa Conservation and Preservation Consortium
reprinted from Archival Products News (Fall 1996 v.4 no.4)
Extend the life of your scrapbook by using archival material. The ideal scrapbook would be constructed with 100% archival materials including a protective cover, a hinge that allows a book to comfortably expand, & a size that is easy to shelve or store.
Tip #1: Select a scrapbook with a hinge that allows the book to comfortably expand. "D" or "O- type" three-ring, poly post, multi-ring, and strap are popular bindings that allow for expansion.
Tip #2: Use only the right hand pages or tear out every other sheet if the scrapbook is bound or the hinge does not provide enough room to expand.
Tip # 3: Pages should be white or off-white archival acid-free 80 lb. Weight or better paper (archival papers include 100 % rag, Bainbridge, Lig-free, Perma/Dur, Permalife, Strathmore, TrueCore).
Tip #4: A charcoal or artists pad that is 100% cotton rag with sturdy weight pages can be used as a scrapbook. These pads are bound. To prevent the book from bulging, attach the items to the right hand side of the page only. Leave the first and last page blank to provide extra protection. You can strengthen the cover by attaching a title sheet with a glue stick.
Tip #5: A good functioning 3-ring binder, preferably fabric covered, can also be used to create a scrapbook. Check to be certain that the rings will not pop open on their own and will close completely (even a small opening will allow pages to slip out).
Tip #6: Archival paper which is 80 lb. Weight or better can be used as well as archival plastic page protectors and photograph pages available in a variety of combinations for scrapbook pages. Leave a blank page at the beginning and end of the notebook for added protection against wear and tear.
Tip #7: If you choose to use plastic page protectors, purchase them from a recognized archival products company. Many "PVC-free" plastics that are available through discount stores are not archival. Archival plastics include cellulose triacetate, DuPont Mylar polyester, polyethylene, and polypropylene. These pages are often available at a photo shop.
Tip #8: Resources for archival quality scrapbooks include Creative Memories, Gaylord, Light Impressions, LBS/Archival Products, University Products and other companies that offer archival-quality products.
Tip #9: Attach your photographs, postcards, and other items with archival photo corners. Mylar mounting corners are often available from a photographic supply store and are recognized as archival. Avoid using tape as much as possible since it will eventually cause yellowing and may "ooze" and cause items and pages to stick together.
Tip #10: Attach newspaper clippings (or better yet photocopies of clippings) to the pages with a water soluble or washable non-toxic glue stick. Two brands that may be used are 3M Scotch permanent adhesive glue stick and Loctite Deskset glue stick. Cut your clippings long enough so that you can create a hinge for the glue.
Tip #11: Make sure to identify the origin of your clippings, photographs, and other memorabilia. Provide the date, the source of the item, names and places.
Tip #12: Flowers and other objects can be put into a polyethylene zip-lock bag and then attached to the page using white cotton thread.
For more information about protecting your documentary heritage, please contact:
The Rochester Regional Library Council
390 Packetts Landing
Fairport, NY 14450