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Re: Photocopies in conservation and preservation

Using an electrostatic copier to reproduce fragile materials saves the
original material from wear and tear, damage and destruction.  A plus in
the overwhelming reponse to save things with limited resources (people,
money, time).

Electrostatic copies are not better than many types of printing, but can
have longevity compared with an original, such as newspapers of high
lignin and wood content (therefore, very acidic).  Ephemeral material.

Toner adhesion to a good quality support is the key as Mr. Anderson
rightly noted.  The USA National Archives and Records Administration has
developed "the Peel Test" for determining the quality of the bonding of
photocopying machines.  Contact the:

        Special Media Preservation Branch (NNPS)
        National Archives,
        Washington, D.C. 20408 USA

for pricing (around $15.00 USA, 1995) of the test fee and copy of the
article with the test instructions.

Additionally, the Australian Archives World Wide Web site:


or at the gopher site   aa01.aa.gov.au

offers "Photocopying and Laser Printing Processes-Their Stablity and
Permanence" which offers technical information as well as advice.

Hope this helps!

Stephanie Watkins

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