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Subject: Marking photographs

Marking photographs

From: Richard Pearce-Moses <buster>
Date: Tuesday, September 19, 1995
Julia M. Landry <cnsa [at] fox__nstn__ca> writes

>Has anyone any suggestions for writing on the verso of modern
>photographs printed on resin coated paper?

I just can't bring myself to mark on a photograph with ink.  I mark
an enclosure when I can mark the photograph itself (glass, film,
etc.)  I've worked hard to ensure that procedures avoid mix-ups when
handling those materials, and on the whole I've been fortunate.  In
the few instances where images have been switched in their
enclosures, the catalog record has helped me set things right.

Some modern RC photographic papers have a textured surface that will
take a number two pencil, but it seems most do not.  I use a 6B
pencil if necessary.  While the lead can smear, I find that writing
lightly, using small letters, and keeping the point sharp (a
challenge in itself) minimizes that problem.  Because I keep my
prints in Mylar enclosures, I'm not worried about the lead
transferring to another image in contact with the markings or
fingers/gloves smudging the marking.

I have often wondered about going over the pencil marks very lightly
with a document cleaning pad to reduce the amount of lead that can

Any criticisms/thoughts on this approach would be appreciated.

Richard Pearce-Moses
Documentary Collections Archivist/Automation Coordinator
The Heard Museum
22 E. Monte Vista
Phoenix AZ 85004
Fax: 602-252-9757

                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:28
                Distributed: Sunday, September 24, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-9-28-005
Received on Tuesday, 19 September, 1995

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