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Preservation Tips

Some of this information is supplied courtesy of Conservation Resources (UK) Ltd.





Please note these are only guide lines to help, you most likely won't be able to follow each & everyone, just use some common sense & do what you can. Water entering the time capsule will do more harm to the contents than anything else so follow our sealing instructions that we send with the time capsule.

Do retain detailed records of the items that you place in the time capsule including the construction of the actual time capsule and its contents. Mention the reason for the capsule, who contributed to it and who was present at the burial, and list the materials and colours of the items.
It is important to list as much information as possible to help future conservationists identify the items inside. Make two copies one to include in the capsule and one in safe keeping, possibly with the International Time Capsule Society in Atlanta.
  Don't handle the items that you put in the capsule, oil and grease from your fingers can soil the items and cause corrosion on contact with airbourne pollutants.
  Do use cotton gloves when handling all items.
  Don't include unstable items that could offgas or deteriorate. Rubber and wool offgas sulfur (especially oak) and must be sealed away from metal or electronic items. Polyethylene can permeate moisture as it ages so make sure it is encapsulated in a waterproof container. Diazzo films offgas that will deteriorate other materials in the capsule, foodstuff will decompose and also cause cross contamination.
  Do place any suspect items in archive quality sealed non permeable air tight bags, including oxygen scavengers to absorb all oxygen.
  Don't include hair or woollen items unless you put them in archival quality bags away from other items as they will offgas. Be aware that silk may deteriorate in an oxygen environment and 100% cotton will act as a humidity buffer for temperature fluctuations, polyester fibres are stable.
  Do ensure textiles are insect free and wrap them up in sulfur free archive quality tissue.
  Don't use unstable mediums to create written, drawn or painted items.
  Do use archival quality inks, watercolours and papers.
  Don't include untreated newspapers.
  Do deacidify newspaper and other inferior quality papers and pack within archive quality housings.
  Don't include thermally produced facsimile or scanner/plotter papers.
  Do use stable quality processes, preferably black toned photocopy papers (not colour) produced on smooth surfaced archival quality photocopy paper.
  Don't use inferior quality photographic processes.
  Do include fibre based archival black and white prints or cibachrome prints (not colour prints or film) . Store them in archival photographic housings and include a dessicant bag.
  Don't forget that there may not be the equipment to play back audio and visual items in 100 years time.
  Do include information how they were produced and on what equipment, include written software used and identify the format as well as instructions about any play back equipment.
  Don't use recycled or acid papers.
  Do use archival quality papers, mounting boards folders and enclosures with a pH of 6.0 to 8.0 that are alkaline buffered, lignin and sulfur free. Use only archival quality adhesives.
  Don't use poly vinyl acetate (PVAC) or poly vinyl chloride (PVC) shrink wrap or cling type films as protective wrappers.
  Do use archival quality transparent housings such as inert polyester (melinex 516 or mylar) or inert polypropylene.
  Don't use unstable packing materials to fill out your time capsule.
  Do use stable archivcal quality packing out fillers such as shredded micro chamber.
  Do replace the oxygen in the time capsule with argon or dry nitrogen gas. As an alternative put oxygen scavengers inside the capsule before sealing up, or use both methods.
  Don't be too secretive about your time capsule.
  Do identify in some way the location of your time capsule.

One basic action that will simplify much of these tips is to use polypropylene self sealable bags for the different objects your placing in the time capsule, this will separate the different materials and avoid any interaction between them.


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