What exactly does "Archival" mean?

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by wiseowl, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

    Messages:
    423
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    S Wales
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I'm not after a dictionary definition, or any information about acid free, lignin free etc (although that would be useful). What I'd really like to know is time scale.

    What's the current wisdom on print life, fiber/ rc, properly washed etc. unmounted and mounted using different methods, eg double sided tape, spray mount, tissue etc. How much of a difference does using archival board over normal board make. Are we talking years, decades or tens of decades before it would be an issue, or is it less than that.

    Cheers

    Martin
     
  2. George Losse

    George Losse Member

    Messages:
    325
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
  3. ann

    ann Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,919
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Here is a practical example from two photos that hang in my class room. One is mounted on archival museum board the other on cold press board. The cold press board is much thicker , for whatever that means. They were mounted the same year with the same materials, except the board type. THe cold press board is beginning to yellow, it is slight but nevetheless it is changing color. THe archival board is still the same color. The light source is the same, both under glass, etc. They are 22 years old.

    SPray mounting is not healthy for your lungs or the environment.
     
  4. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

    Messages:
    423
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    S Wales
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Thanks George, it made interesting reading.

    Ann, apart from the board discolouration has there been any effect on the print, or were you reffering to the print yellowing?

    Martin
     
  5. ann

    ann Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,919
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Shooter:
    35mm
    no, the board is changing shades, starting from the edges, it will eventually work it's way into the print.

    Years ago i would take a print i was thinking about doing, make a quick print and mount it on cold press board, frame it and put it up some place where i could look at it every day. Then when i deceided what i was going to do i would make a new print with all the corrections, etc and then mount that on archival board.
    I have a box full of the "cold press" version, some of which have not seen the light of day in years, the board color is shifting on those as well.
    My experiences have not shown that to happen with archival board.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,942
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
  7. Loose Gravel

    Loose Gravel Member

    Messages:
    921
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Barbar
    I thought it meant "more expensive".
     
  8. Harvinder Sunila

    Harvinder Sunila Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Location:
    Glasgow,Scot
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Archival means it's still around after you are long dead.
     
  9. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

    Messages:
    423
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    S Wales
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I have prints from my grandparents, all of whom are long gone but many of the prints, esp the B&W are still good. These were kept in a shoebox under the bed! Is that archival. (No, I know it's not.) Let me rephrase my question, by using ordinary mounts etc, how much life are we taking off the print, in real terms?

    Martin
     
  10. ann

    ann Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,919
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I don't know, however, i am sure about the color shift to the boards and for me that is not acceptable. Either for myself or for anyone that may purchase a print.
    Spent too many years working to create successful negatives and prints to scrimp a few dollars on the presentation process.

    However, that is going to be up to you to decide what works for your process.
     
  11. wiseowl

    wiseowl Member

    Messages:
    423
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    S Wales
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I take your point about the board changing colour, yes that is imortant to the final presentation and yes it is up to me to decide what best suits my methods and requirements. However, to that properly I needed a better understaning of all the issues.

    Thanks for your input, I will admit that the life of the mount was an issue I didn't give any consideration to initially.

    Cheers

    Martin
     
  12. mikewhi

    mikewhi Member

    Messages:
    808
    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I've always understood it to mean at least 100 years which is why color wasn't archival and thus discounted as a good art investment. I believe financial intersts are behind the drive towards archival standards. After all, if you want to sell prints at high prices, they need to last a long time. 'Moonrise' would not sell for over $100K if the print would not survive the buyer.

    -Mike