Ever since the movie Roots hit TV screens back in 1977, people have longed to either research their own family history, or preserve what they already know. Some of these family historians collect and preserve historical documents, such as birth and death records, marriage certificates, religious documents and a host of other paper documents.
Others preserve the past through photographs. Mounting them in specially made albums that contain archive quality paper to help preserve the pictures, they add embellishments and details to bring meaning to the images. Often they engage in a practice of writing down details surrounding the person or event captured in the picture. This is known as journaling. Journaling is an invaluable tool in maintaining family history, but it can all be lost, if archival pens are not used.
Ink from non-archival pens can leach into the paper and into photos mounted nearby and cause a breakdown of the materials, over time. Photos, in particular, can be damaged irreversibly by ink and other non-archival quality materials. If you are going to go to the trouble of trying to preserve family photographs for posterity, archival pens should be used for journaling.
Among the many benefits these pens provide is the fact that they are fade resistant. They don’t smear or feather, when dry, and they don’t bleed through to the other side of your archival paper. They are non-toxic and usually available in a variety of tips and colors. Pens made for archiving purposes are the only ones you should use near your precious photos and family documents.