MDF mounting

Q. Do you have any information on mounting photographs to medium-density fiberboard? Is it archival? Will the adhesive be enough of a barrier from the acid of the hardwood?

A. I’m sorry to say that I can’t recommend you permanently mount your photographs to any surface. The National Archives in Washington, D.C. seems to back me up on this. The following paragraphs are from the portion of their Web site that discusses mounting photos in albums (found here): “Mounting with the following materials should be avoided: synthetic glue (white glue), rubber cement, pressure-sensitive tapes and films, staples, or hot glue gun adhesives. These materials have poor aging qualities which can physically damage and/or discolor paper and photographs.

“Plastic and paper corners which are to be used for photographic memorabilia should be made of a material which passes the Photographic Activity Test (PAT). The PAT was developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is a test that determines whether or not a storage material will cause fading or staining of photographs. … Many manufacturers test their products with the PAT and advertise storage materials which pass the PAT.”

So what would I recommend instead? You could purchase plastic or paper mounting corners, mount the photo to a museum board, and put a window mat in front to hide the corners.

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