About Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc.
How Long Will Your Pictures Last?
Which Products Last the Longest?
Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. conducts accelerated light exposure and dark aging tests to determine the comparative life expectancy of inkjet and other digitally printed photographs, as well as that of traditional black-and-white and color photographs.
As high-quality photographic printing has been steadily moving toward inkjet printing with an ever-increasing number of small and large-format prints being made with pigmented and dye-based inks on a wide variety of inkjet media so too has the emphasis at Wilhelm Imaging Research shifted to testing inkjet materials.
The intrinsic light fading and dark storage stability of these myriad imaging materials is the primary focus of this company and its research. Our aim is to provide the answer to the question: "How long will this image last before noticeable fading and/or staining occur, and under what conditions?" It is the purpose of this website to publish the results of these evaluations on a product-by-product basis. These "apples-to-apples" comparisons, available nowhere else, help make it possible to select the best products when image permanence is an important consideration.
Also available on this site is wide-ranging information on the permanence and care of photographs in general. For example, Wilhelm Imaging Research conducts research on cost-effective methods to preserve a wide variety of photographic materials including motion picture films as well as books, manuscripts, newspapers, and other visual records and artifacts for many thousands of years into the future through the use of sub-zero cold storage (minus 4 degrees F/minus 20 degrees C).
Wilhelm Imaging Research will be regularly posting new Print Permanence Ratings and other stability data for printers, inks, and papers.