Mitigation of light-induced damage on modern digital prints: Photographs and documents

User menu

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Andrea Venosa; Daniel Burge; Douglas Nishimura;


Studies in Conservation, Volume 61, Number sup1, p.101-110 (2016)


This study is part of a larger research project dedicated to digital print preservation issues – the Digital Print Preservation Portal (DP3). This work quantifies the potential of glazing materials to mitigate different types of light-induced damage – colorant fade, paper yellowing, changes in paper gloss, and loss of optical brightening agent (OBA) function – that occur to digitally printed photographs and documents when on display. Prints were subjected to xenon lighting to simulate daylight through window glass in a series of arrangements: without glazing, with plain framing glass (soda-lime) in a sealed or unsealed package, and with UV blocking glass in a sealed or unsealed package. Sealed packages served the purpose of isolating the samples from atmospheric pollutants, known to contribute to the deterioration of certain print types. In this study, the use of UV-filtering glass protected prints from colorant fade, paper yellowing, and paper gloss change to an extent. Protection conveyed by plain glass was less comprehensive and less effective than UV glass. Neither type of glazing was able to keep the OBAs functional by the end of the light exposure. It was also seen that light-induced damage to digital prints is due not only to UV radiation, but also to visible light, and that different digital prints may be more vulnerable to one or the other. Protecting sensitive prints from UV radiation and budgeting the amount of light they may be exposed to should be essential to any print display policy in order to ensure longevity.