Archival Slide Sheets disintegrating after exposure to daylight.


Link Posted 13/11/2021 - 20:20
About 20 years ago I bought a few packs of archival storage sheets from ClearFile in Shoreham.

I packed away a few hundred E6 slides and some negative strips into 4-ring A4 binders which
were kept in the dark for many years but after some building work (DIY!) that went on for a few
years they were moved to a bedroom facing North, so never got any direct sunlight, apart from
a month or so around the summer solstice.

The folders were all piled up flat so the only the outer opening edge got any daylight.
Recently I brushed past them and a shower of plastic flakes came away onto the floor
where the very edge of each slide sheet has disintegrated.

They are made of polypropylene and one of the packs has them marked 'made in USA',
but not the other two. Another make of slide storage sheet feels as though it is different
plastic and they are fine after the same time.

How do other people store all their slides and negatives over time ?.

They are these -



Link Posted 13/11/2021 - 22:38
According to the British Plastics Federation, polypropylene has poor UV resistance. That's probably what caused your problem. Good chemical and fatigue resistance, though. I suppose 'archive' usually means 'kept in a dark cupboard', so perhaps UV was not a consideration for the manufacturer. And of course, what a business wants for archiving documents isn't in the same league as what a museum or art gallery needs for storing invaluable artifacts or delicate works of art.

Try archival polyester. Much more resistant to UV. I've not had problems with it. Like all plastics, though, there are many varieties of the basic type, so make sure it really is archival grade.

Last Edited by Lubbyman on 13/11/2021 - 22:39


Link Posted 14/11/2021 - 12:32
May I ask why you don't digitise them? Perhaps you have. It's amazing the quality we got from scanning 1972 Kodacolor negs. There's something special about looking at the negative knowing that all those years ago it was in the camera capturing that momemt.
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Link Posted 14/11/2021 - 15:58
All my Paterson file negative filing sheets are still in fine order, some 40-45 years on. They are kept cool and dark.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 14/11/2021 - 19:24
Archival hanging files for slides in a large lateral filing cabinet.

Even if digitised, keep the originals! Archiving digital files is another can of worms.
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Link Posted 15/11/2021 - 19:49
I keep the slides I have here in plastic boxes that have an airtight lid which I store in a cool dry place with some silicone gel in them.

My negs, I bought these:

I have a load more slides coming soon I've purchased for my project that'll also need storing the same way
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Link Posted 16/11/2021 - 17:47
cardiffgareth wrote:
I keep the slides I have here in plastic boxes that have an airtight lid which I store in a cool dry place with some silicone gel in them.

I used to do that but bought the A4/4-ring binder inserts from ClearFile 30years ago and
sadly chucked all the slide boxes away.

I think I have few of these, they seem to be combination of ?paper and some sort of acetate film,
OK for neg strips and 35mm unmounted slides but too fragile for mounted slides.
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