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Subject: Marking photographs

Marking photographs

From: Ron Stark <rstark9955>
Date: Thursday, September 21, 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?

When you say "modern" photos one might assume they are within ten
years old. It would help to know whose paper the photos are printed
on as each manufacturer uses considerably different products. But
there are some alternatives. Be aware that "stable" adhesive is
really not the issue as I see the matter. Adhesives harden as they
oxidize. Some, such as those on Avery brand labels, can harden so
much that they will completely exfoliate in as little as a year. The
problem to the photo is removing the residual adhesive when and if
the label needs replacing/removal.  Some labels have a non-hardening
adhesive but most manufacturers won't tell conservators about their
raw materials in fear of possibly speaking into the ear of
competition. So, here are some suggestions;

Try using the pencil again but this time coat it with a spray
coating like workable fixative. This may take some skill so as not
to spray the face of the photo.  Another thing to consider is using
a piece of Scotch brand #850 clear polyester tape. The substrate is
stable, the adhesive does not harden completely and the adhesive
doesn't ooze. We have not tested this product for any effects it may
have on photos but it does well over an extended period of time. You
can write on it with almost any marker and easily eradicate the ink
with something as simple as 99% isopropyl alcohol and write again.

If you tell me more about the particular photo materials perhaps I might have
a better or more precise answer.

Ron Stark
S/R Laboratories Animation Art
Conservation Center

                  Conservation DistList Instance 9:28
                Distributed: Sunday, September 24, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-9-28-006
Received on Thursday, 21 September, 1995

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