26 March 2007

Scrapbook glossary

Buffered paper - During manufacture, a buffering agent such as calcium carbonate or magnesium bicarbonate can be added to paper to neutralize acid contaminant. Such papers have a pH of 8.5.

Journaling - Journaling refers to text on a scrapbook page giving details about the photographs. It can be done in your own handwriting or with adhesive letters, rub-ons, and stencils. It is probably the most important part of memory albums.

Lignin - Lignin is the material that holds wood fibers together as a tree grows. If lignin remains in the final paper (as with newsprint), it will become yellow and brittle over time. Most paper other than newsprint is lignin-free.

pH factor - The pH factor refers to acidity of a paper. The pH scale is the standard for measurement of acidity and alkalinity. It runs from 0 to 14, each number representing a tenfold increase; neutral is 7. Acid-free products have a pH factor of 7 or above. Special pH tester pens are available to help you determine the acidity or alkalinity of products.

Photo-safe - Photo-safe is a term similar to archival quality but more specific to materials used with photographs. Acid-free is the determining factor for a product to be labeled photo-safe.

Sheet protectors - These are made of plastic to slip over a finished album page. They can be side-loading or top-loading and fit 8-1/2 x 11-inch or 12 x 12-inch pages. It is important that they are acid-free. Polypropylene (vinyl), commonly available for office use, is not of archival quality and should not be included in albums.

Materials Albums - Photo-friendly, acid-free albums are available in standard 8-1/2 x 11-inch, 12 x 12-inch, and 5 x 7-inch sizes. Most will let you insert plastic page protectors. The most popular types of scrapbooking albums are:
Three-ring: These familiar favorites have rings that snap apart for easy page insertion and removal.
Spiral-Bound: Albums with this type of wire binding have permanently attached pages and are ideal for one-topic and themed scrapbooks.
Strap-style: Albums that use plastic straps allow the pages to lie completely flat when the album is opened.

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