Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Color laser printers

Color laser printers

From: Martin Juergens <post>
Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Andrew Hart <ashart [at] email__unc__edu> writes

>Our Acquisitions Department is exploring using a color laser printer
>(Xerox Phaser 6250) to print bookplates for some materials in
>general collections. I am interested in observations--formal or
>anecdotal--that anyone can share about permanence for color laser
>prints. For the this use, I'm particularly interested in potential
>transfer to facing pages, dark fading, and color stability. ...

As far as I have seen so far, the transfer of toner to the facing
pages should only occur under the following circumstances:

    *   The prints were not made well, resulting in an image that is
        not well fused to the paper carrier. To avoid this, see in
        particular David Grattan's publication listed below. The dry
        toner image rests on the surface of the paper and may
        consist of quite a thick layer, which may or may not have a
        relief surface. This relief could theoretically press itself
        into the paper facing it over time and with enough pressure
        (I have not seen this happen yet, but who knows?).

    *   The object is being stored in adverse conditions, these
        being particularly high RH and high temperature (note that
        the Tg of the encapsulating resin of the toner is around
        50-65 deg. C). Also, prolonged and excessive pressure on the
        print and facing material may induce toner transfer (also
        called "blocking").

In the case of a flood, the image would be waterfast and the
colourant would not bleed.

You might want to be careful about flexing the print; excessive
flexing of the carrier could lead to delamination of the image,
especially if it is not fused well (see above).

I have read about light fading problems, but these seem to be quite
negligible compared to other printing processes. This is due to the
fact that the colourants are mostly mainly pigment-based (some dyes
may be added). For this reason also, dark-fading does not seem to be
an issue.

The idea sounds good to me. I would suggest making up some dummies
and subjecting them to harsh conditions, perhaps over a longer
period of time. Try perhaps also using various printers, since the
results can be quite different.

The following references may be of interest to you:

    Grattan, D. 2000.
    The stability of photocopied and laser-printed documents and
    images: general guidelines. Technical Bulletin 22. Ottawa,
    Ontario: Canadian Conservation Institute.

    Hillcoat-Imanishi, A. 1999.
    An investigation into the archival properties of colour
    photocopies and inkjet prints: summary of a project undertaken
    at Camberwell College of Art as part of a BA in Paper
    Conservation. V&A conservation journal 30, 14-16.

    McColgin, M. 1987.
    Photocopying on archival paper. The Abbey newsletter 11(8), Dec.

    **** Moderator's comments: The above URL has been wrapped for
    email. There should be no newline.

    Norville-Day, H. 1994.
    The conservation of Faxes and colour photocopies. In Modern
    works--modern problems? Conference Papers. London: The Institute
    of Paper Conservation.

    Norville-Day, H. and Jaques, S. 1999.
    Conservation considerations with the acquisition of works of art
    made using digital technology. In Care of photographic, moving
    image, and sound collections. Conference Papers, York, 20-24
    July 1998. Leigh, UK: Institute of Paper Conservation.

    Orlenko, K. and Stewart, E. 1996.
    A conservator's perspective on the processes and materials used
    in the production of computer-generated documents. In
    International conference on conservation and restoration of
    archive and library materials. Erice, 22-29 April 1996,
    preprints 1. Rome: Istituto centrale per la patologia del libro.

    Orlenko, K. and Stewart, E. 1997.
    Conservation implications of computer-generated printing. In IPC
    conference papers, London. Leigh, UK: The Institute of  Paper

    Rauh, W., Dietzel, S., and Schiller, A. 2000.
    Lightfastness and Mechanical Resistance of Electrophotographic
    Printings. In Conference Proceedings - Preservation and
    Conservation Issues Related to Digital Printing, London, 26-27
    October 2000, 52-60.

    Subt, S.S. 1987.
    Archival quality of Xerographic copies. Restaurator 8(1), 29-39.

Martin Juergens
Photograph Conservator
Beerenweg 6-8
22761 Hamburg, Germany
+49 40 2800 4785
Fax: +49 40 2805 6511

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:43
                  Distributed: Monday, March 13, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-19-43-004
Received on Tuesday, 28 February, 2006

[Search all CoOL documents]