New whole plate negative envelopes now available!
In the 4+ years since our "whole plate renaissance" began, my approach to negative storage has evolved. I tried Secol sleeves, but they carry a risk of scratching during insertion/removal, since they are so tight and rigid. For other sizes, I had been using interleaving folders and paper envelopes, including placing whole plate negatives in that 8x10 combination. However, even this wasn't satisfying, given the cost, total thickness and awkwardness of handling multiple items in the darkroom.
Another manufacturer began offering polypropylene fold-over sleeves for whole plate after some users requested them. I don't get along well with the fold-over design; inserting and removing negatives in it has proven even more of a nuisance than dealing with two-part systems. The material is soft and feels like its surface holds dust/grit.
Last year I tried and very much liked the high density polyethylene (HDPE) negative storage envelopes offered by Archival Methods. These have become my standard for 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10. They are pure HDPE; no slip agents or other chemicals are used in the envelopes or during the manufacturing process. They do not generate static electricity. Since they're a bit loose, negatives can be inserted and removed easily with no danger of scratching. The only drawback was lack of a dedicated size for whole plate.
Recently I contacted Archival Methods and petitioned them to add a new size that would specifically accommodate whole plate negatives. They agreed and said they'd notify me when the new product became available. That email arrived this morning and I've already ordered a large quantity. Here's the product page:
I encourage everyone using whole plate to buy these envelopes for negative storage. They're very well priced and readily available. If you're looking for a matched size box into which the envelopes+negatives will fit, I've found and purchased these:
The perfect way to organize your collection of perfect size negatives!