Why Vellum???

Have you ever had a blueprint crumble in your hands?  It cracks apart, parts falling off and it just can't be repaired.  The tape that was put around the edges to keep it together has now become like straw and frayed and fallen off, no longer sticky or solid (see picture of actual tape from one of our drawings here). 

We hear it all the time... "Why do we still need Vellum As-Builts?".  Let me tell you why we still require this (Vellum or Translucent Bond)...

  • The As-Built Record Drawings are considered important historical documents and as archivists, we are mandated by the government to keep these drawing sets in a hard copy format... FOREVER!
  • Digital copies can become corrupt, the native file format is not supported any longer, no program will open them correctly, if at all, etc.  Technology is changing so quickly, even the "government standard for archivable digital files" has changed twice in the past 15 years.
  • Vellum is the paper type that has been proven to last the longest (remember, FOREVER) in storage besides Mylar, animal hides, rock tablets or tree bark.  Can you imagine asking the consultants for those?  And even then, I don't think some of those stand the test of time.  
  • As vellum becomes harder to find in the print houses, we are now accepting TRANSLUCENT BOND as an acceptable alternative. 
  • We order very expensive, specially made archive boxes that are acid free and help to keep the vellum prints last as long as possible (FOR-EV-ER).
  • All the drawings we keep are sent to University Archives and they are stored in various temperature and humidity controlled rooms off-site and in campus facilities.
  • Boxes are given an accession number and we keep very close track of what is in each box and which number it is assigned.
  • We can and have called these back before for various reasons.
So without the drawings being printed on Vellum (or Translucent Bond), the chances of them lasting the appropriate amount of time (FOREVER, FOREVER-EVER), may not be possible.

We appreciate your understanding and conveying the message to your project teams.  If anyone has any questions or needs help finding vellum or translucent bond, please reach out to FIS Support for assistance.