Archiving Old Magazines
October 13, 2004 10:16 AM   Subscribe

I recently inherited a looks-brand-new copy of The London Illustrated News from 1947 dedicated to the wedding of Princess Elizabeth. It's amazing; it includes a pictorial family tree tracing both Elizabeth and Philip back to Victoria, baby pictures, pictures of the crowds in Trafalgar Square, etc. What's the best way to keep this treasure as pristine as possible, while still being able to look at it from time to time?

Charles and Di din't have nuttin' on Liz' wedding ... royal wedding gifts included a vacuum cleaner and an automatic washing machine
posted by WolfDaddy to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
You should probably phase box the book (that is, place it in an acid-free book-sized box) for storage if you're not going to display it normally. You can order custom phase boxes, use premade archival boxes from Gaylord or Demco, or construct your own using bookbinding/scrapbooking/etc supplies from your local craft store (just make sure everything is acid-free!).

When storing the book, if it's big and you want the binding to last for awhile, store it either flat or with its spine down. That will ease the strain of the textblock on the binding.

As for handling the book, just take care, make sure hands touching it are clean and dry, and don't let it within twenty feet of anyone under twelve.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:37 AM on October 13, 2004

Using one of these?
posted by Robot Johnny at 10:51 AM on October 13, 2004

How many pages? You could disbind it (if it's bound) and encapsulate the individual pages -- Gaylord will sell you sheets of encapsulation material, which is a thin transparent polymer stuff; you take two sheets, sandwich a sheet between them, and seal the edges with double-sided encapsulation tape. The end result is something like a laminated page, but unlike lamination it's reversible (you just cut off the sealed edges if you want to take it out). The advantage over a phase box is that you can handle encapsulated pages without really worrying about tearing, creasing, or oily hands degrading the paper. Depending on the size of the paper, you might be able to find from either Gaylord or Light Impressions pre-made polyproylene ('mylar') sleeves into which you can insert the pages.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 11:19 AM on October 13, 2004

To clarify -- I'm not advocating ruining a good binding; if it's an unbound broadsheet or tabloid or if the binding is disintegrating, encapsulation might be an option. If it's got a good book-style binding, go with the phase box.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 11:30 AM on October 13, 2004

Wow, great suggestions everyone. Thanks!

IshmaelGraves, the magazine is staple-bound, and I'm afraid to remove them. But I'll find some sort of happy medium out of the suggestions listed here. Thanks again to everyone!

(Boy, I wish I had that family tree scanned ... I'm fascinated by it, and didn't even realize Elizabeth and Philip were, like, eighth cousins or something like that).
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:05 PM on October 13, 2004

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