I have some prints ready to go into an exhibit. They are mounted on archival mat board. The gallery requires a label of some kind on the back of the mount, and I'm wondering what to use.
I know the traditional method has always been to use a rubber stamp and fill in the blanks, but I wonder if some kind of computer printed label would be safe. I looked particularly at clear labels made by Avery, thinking they would look nice showing through the color of the mat.
However, nothing on the package indicates what the labels are made of or what glue is used. They don't have an odor, so I know they are not vinyl. If they are some kind of inert plastic, I would think they would be fine if the glue is OK.
Anyone know anything about these or have any ideas other than the rubber stamp?
I would think that as long as they are on the back of the back mat they would be fine. Ansel Adams used to mount some of his photos onto plywood after drymounting them onto archival board stating that the wood wouldn't be (as) detrimental to the photo. The back mat provided a suitable buffer to the harmful chemicals in the wood.
Print your label on a good quality cotton office staionery paper, it's pH neutral, acid free, no lignins, etc. Good stuff for labels. Print the labels with a pigment based inkjet, or laser, if you can. Oherwise use plain inkjet, it's not giong to fade on the back of the mat. I like to give 'em a dusting of Krylon Fixative, the stuff artists use to prevent smudging of pastels, etc.
To glue it down, us wallpaper paste. I'm not kidding... just look for the past made of methyl cellulose (I'm pretty sure that's what it's called... I can't get to the box right now to confirm it.) This is not the old fashioned wheat paste whic bugs used to have lunch on. Methyl cellulose is a modified cellulose that is inedible to bugs, mould, and other such organic critters. Mix only 1/8 teaspoon in 2 shot glasses of water, and you can mount LOT of labels. Paint it on the label with a 1" foam brush.
Here's the answer I received from Avery:
Thank you for contacting Avery. These labels (the clear ones) are not acid free or
archival safe. Currently, Avery manufactures the following SKU numbers
which are acid free/archival safe:
All of these packages are Dual Technology Laser/Ink Jet, White Permanent
ID labels containing 15 sheets per package at suggested retail of $9.99.
6570 - 1.25" x 1.75" 32up
6571 - .625" x 3" 32up
6572 - 2 x 2.625 10up
6573 - 5" x 8.125" 2up
Please contact your preferred office supplier regarding these items.
Again, thank you for your interest in Avery.