Author Topic: question about laminating old documents?  (Read 290 times)

Offline familyfind

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question about laminating old documents?
« on: Saturday 24 April 21 09:40 BST (UK) »
I have just received some old documents from my uncles estate. They include his baptism certificate (1920) which is in really poor condition. Every time you touch it another piece falls off.

I tried to feed it into an acid free document but more came off - it is not very strong and already in about 10 pieces.

I think the only hope of preservation is to laminate it.  I would do that straight away but just wondered if there was an obvious reason why one shouldn't.

So to laminate or not, that is the question?

Offline scotmum

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Re: question about laminating old documents?
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 24 April 21 10:10 BST (UK) »
No experience of laminating anything of such importance, but from internet:

Quote
.   Lamination is not considered a safe conservation technique because the process may potentially damage a document due to high heat and pressure during application. Moreover, the laminating materials themselves may be chemically unstable and contribute even more to the deterioration of the document.   

Interesting read:

https://siarchives.si.edu/what-we-do/forums/collections-care-guidelines-resources/should-i-laminate-old-document-photo-or-birth-

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Offline Gillg

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Re: question about laminating old documents?
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 24 April 21 10:34 BST (UK) »
Maybe take a photograph  or photocopy of it and then preserve the original between sheets of acid free tissue paper.  Perhaps your local record office or family history society would have some helpful advice.  The old Huntingdonshire  record office produced photographs for me of some documents which they said were too fragile to photocopy. 
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

FAIREY/FAIRY/FAREY/FEARY, LAWSON, CHURCH, BENSON, HALSTEAD from Easton, Ellington, Eynesbury, Gt Catworth, Huntingdon, Spaldwick, Hunts;  Burnley, Lancs;  New Zealand, Australia & US.

HURST, BOLTON,  BUTTERWORTH, ADAMSON, WILD, MCIVOR from Milnrow, Newhey, Oldham & Rochdale, Lancs.


Offline Chris Doran

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Re: question about laminating old documents?
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 24 April 21 11:19 BST (UK) »
I have just received some old documents from my uncles estate. They include his baptism certificate (1920) which is in really poor condition. Every time you touch it another piece falls off.

I tried to feed it into an acid free document but more came off - it is not very strong and already in about 10 pieces.

I guess you mean the pocket type of document holder that opens only at the top. You can get ones that open at top and one side, giving more wriggle room, or just apply a pair of scissors to a pocket one. Re-seal with archival tape if need be.
Researching Penge, Anerley, (incuding the Crystal Palace) and neighbouring parts of Beckenham, currently in London (Bromley), formerly Surrey and/or Kent.

Offline Jebber

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Re: question about laminating old documents?
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 24 April 21 11:28 BST (UK) »
I once attended a talk by an Archivist from the County Archives, the advice was never to laminate documents.

I scan, or if that's not possible, I photograph all original documents. I then store the originals in acid free archival storage boxes. I store fragile family Bibles in the same way.
CHOULES All ,  COKER Harwich Essex & Rochester Kent 
COLE Gt. Oakley, & Lt. Oakley, Essex.
DUNCAN Kent
EVERITT Colchester,  Dovercourt & Harwich Essex
GULLIVER/GULLOFER Fifehead Magdalen Dorset
HORSCROFT Kent.
KING Sturminster Newton, Dorset. MONK Odiham Ham.
SCOTT Wrabness, Essex
WILKINS Stour Provost, Dorset.
WICKHAM All in North Essex.
WICKHAM Medway Towns, Kent from 1880
WICKHAM, Ipswich, Suffolk.

Offline familyfind

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Re: question about laminating old documents?
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 24 April 21 14:12 BST (UK) »
many thanks for all your advice. I will photocopy the certificate and then store original in acid free box as suggested.