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Subject: ISO Permanence of Imaging Materials update

ISO Permanence of Imaging Materials update

From: Douglas W. Nishimura <dwnpph>
Date: Tuesday, November 7, 2006
It's been about a year since I last did an ISO update for the
standards dealing with the permanence, care and handling of imaging
materials. We have recently  had our second meeting of the year in
Denver (Colorado.)

I'll start with newly published standards and then move on to an
update of longer established standards coming from ISO technical
committee (TC) 42 (dealing with imaging materials), working
group(WG) 5 (dealing with the physical properties and permanence).
I'll go by the numbers (including only the standards of potential
interest to this group).

As a reminder to the readers: ISO has roughly 200 technical
committees (TC 1 deals with screw threads, TC228 deals with tourism
and related services, and TC 229 deals with nanotechnology). Each
committee creates a number of working groups (WG) to deal with more
specific areas within each TC, below the working groups.

ISO generally lets us run things the way we want (or really how the
WG chair wants). This particular group (TC42/WG5) has so much ground
to cover that WG5 has created five task groups.

The first task group (TG-1), originally dealing with wet processed
silver, is currently in hiatus. TG-2, originally dealing with
black-and-white photographic paper, is now picking-up the standards
updates that don't fit the other groups; including ISO 18902. TG-3
is probably the largest and most busy group, originally dealing with
stability tests for color photographic materials, and now covering
all of the modern, non-wet processed printing methods: color or
monochromatic. TG-4 deals with medical imaging and TG-5 deals with
electronic media (including magnetic tape and optical discs.)

Normally standards are initially drafted by a project team created
by the task group. However, revisions to an established standard may
be undertaken by an individual who reports directly to a TG. Working
drafts (WDs) are voted on by the task group as individual experts.
At task group meetings, however, votes are taken at the institution
or company level (so all Ilford members, for example, have to agree
on a position and have a single group vote). The same goes for IPI.
There are a few individual experts who attend as unaffiliated
individual experts who vote for themselves.

It is hoped that all of the technical details will be taken care of
at the working draft stage. After the last working draft has been
agreed to with approximately 2/3 of the votes, it can move to the
committee draft (CD) stage. From here on, the drafts are voted on by
country so all members of a country's technical advisory group (TAG)
meet and agree on a position which is submitted to ISO through the
country's national standards group. This stage can get a little bit
messy sometimes because some country members don't send anyone to
the meetings. Therefore, when a ballot comes, they have no idea what
has been discussed at meetings or how some technical decisions were
arrived at.

I remember many years ago that we had one country, one that didn't
send any representatives to the meetings, wanted the many light
fading tests for color photographs to be reduced to a single test.
What they didn't know was that the committee decided that several
tests were required to reflect the very different photograph
exhibition conditions ranging from sunlight through glass in houses
to slide projector exposure to good museum lighting with low
intensity tungsten incandescent lights.

For me to be an member of the USA TAG, I have to be a member of ANSI
(American National Standards Institute) committee IT-9; responsible
for the permanence and physical properties of imaging materials. The
vote is cast by the specific country's technical expert (and each
country only has one designated expert.) By the CD stage, all
changes should just be editorial. After passing the CD stage, then
the draft becomes a DIS (Draft International Standard) and this, in
theory, is (hopefully) the final stage. Again voting is by country.
If a standard passes this stage with no serious objections, it may
be sent to publications. However, usually, the DIS gets sent to
another ballot called an FDIS (Final Draft International Standard).
This is really a formality to ensure that all concerns and
objections have been dealt with properly (and not just ignored and
forgotten). This vote is by country as well. Finally, having passed
the FDIS, the standard goes out for publication.

As a general rule, standards are due for review every five years, at
which point they may be reaffirmed, revised, or withdrawn (although
a proposal to withdraw a standard can be made at any time.) For
easier viewing I'll deal with relatively newly published standards
(since my last report last year.)

ISO 18933:2006 Imaging materials - Magnetic tape - Care and handling
for extended usage.

    This standard was published in July 2006 as a companion standard
    to 18923 which dealt with storage. 18933 deals with things like
    winding speed, contamination, handling, cleaning,
    transportation, disasters, and staff training.

ISO 18934:2006 Imaging materials - Multiple media archives - Storage

    This standard was published in May 2006. This standard is not
    intended to replace the storage standards for individual imaging
    materials, but it has been recognized that in many institutions
    it is necessary to store a number of different kinds of imaging
    materials together (optical discs and magnetic tape, for
    example). This standard is intended to help the user select the
    storage environment that will best accommodate all of the stored
    imaging materials.

ISO 18935:2005 Imaging materials - Colour images on paper prints -
Determination of indoor water resistance of printed colour images.

    This standard was published in August 2005. This standard is
    particularly important for institutions dealing with ink jet
    prints using dye-based inks and swellable coated papers.

On to older published standards:

ISO 18901:2002 Imaging materials - Processed silver-gelatine type
black-and-white films -Specifications for stability.

    No changes. This standard is mostly for film manufacturers, but
    does include residual silver and residual thiosulfate (hypo)
    limits for processed film. It will be up for review in 2007,

ISO 18902:2001 Imaging materials - Processed photographic films,
plates and papers - Filing enclosures and storage containers.

    This standard is currently undergoing revision. A change in
    scope is reflected in the new proposed title: Imaging materials
    - Processed imaging materials - Albums, framing and storage
    materials. It is currently at the committee draft stage (CD) and
    is targeted for publication by approximately July 2007.

ISO 18906:2000 Imaging materials - Photographic films -
Specifications for safety film.

    No changes. This standards is really a manufacturing standard
    that specifies the required properties for a film to be
    classified as "safety" film. It also includes a description of
    the standard field (burn) test.

ISO 18911: 2000 Photography - Processed safety photographic
films--storage practices.

    No changes. This standard describes the storage conditions and
    vault requirements for the storage of film. It is currently due
    for review.

ISO 18913:2003 Imaging materials - Stability - Vocabulary

    No changes. This standard is up for review next in 2008.

ISO 14523: 1999 Photography - Processed photographic materials -
Photographic activity test for enclosure materials.

    This standard is currently under revision and has just gone
    through a DIS ballot. The target date for publication is
    February 2007 when it will be published as ISO 18916 Imaging
    materials - Processed imaging materials - Photographic activity
    test for enclosure materials.

ISO 18917:1999 Photography - Determination of residual thiosulfate
and other-related chemicals in processed photographic materials -
Methods using iodine-amylose, methylene blue and silver sulfide.

    No changes. This standard was due for review in 2004.

ISO 18918:2000 Imaging materials - Processed photographic plates -
Storage practices

    No changes. This standard was due for review in 2005.

ISO 18920: 2000 Imaging materials - Processed reflection prints -
Storage practices.

    This standard is currently under revision at the WD stage.

ISO 18923:2000 Imaging materials - Polyester base magnetic tape -
Storage practices

    No changes. This standard was due for review in 2005.

ISO 18925:2002 Imaging media - Optical disk media - Storage

    No changes. This standard is due for review in 2007.

ISO 18928:2002 Imaging materials - Unprocessed photographic films
and papers - Storage practices

    No changes. This standard is due for review in 2007.

ISO 18929:2003 Imaging materials - Wet-processed silver-gelatine
type black-and-white photographic reflection prints - specifications
for dark storage.

    No changes. This standard is due for review in 2008.

ISO TR18931:2001 Imaging materials - Humidity measurement and

    No changes. This is a technical report.

ISO 18932:2005 Imaging materials - Adhesives - Specifications

    No changes. This is primarily a standard for manufacturers.

The next meeting is scheduled for Washington in May. For more than
20 years, the chair of ANSI IT9 and ISO TC42/WG5 has been my
colleague, Dr. Peter Adelstein who we hired after his retirement
from Kodak (after 37 years). He has been with IPI since August 1986.

Douglas Nishimura
Senior Research Scientist
Image Permanence Institute
Rochester Institute of Technology
Member ANSI committee IT9
Member ISO TC 42/WG 5

                  Conservation DistList Instance 20:26
                 Distributed: Monday, November 13, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-20-26-001
Received on Tuesday, 7 November, 2006

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