The Image Permanence Institute makes available the IPI Guide to Preservation of Digitally-Printed Photographs. This guide is intended for libraries, museums, and archives, but it is also useful to others.
Here are some highlights:
- For digital prints the primary drivers of deterioration are heat, moisture, and air pollutants.
- High humidity should be avoided for all photograph types to prevent blocking, ferrotyping, and mold growth.
- …inkjet dyes can also bleed severely when exposed to high humidity causing noticeable image blurring and color fringing.
- A variety of gases in the air can cause damage to digitally-printed photographs. Oxidizing agents such as ozone can cause fade or yellowing of many print types as well as embrittlement of inkjet paper coatings. Nitrogen dioxide can induce yellowing in all print types and bleed in some dye inkjet prints.
- Enclosures of low permeability, such as polyester sleeves, are helpful in reducing the rate of pollutant damage.
- …no PSA [pressure sensitive adhesive] should be applied directly to an inkjet photograph even if it meets ISO 18902 or passes the Photographic Activity Test (PAT).
- The major concern for prints on display are fade of the colorants, yellowing of the papers, and/or embrittlement of surface coatings.
I have seen yellowing and fading of inkjet prints that I have displayed, especially with prints produced on matte inkjet paper. Have you seen similar problems?