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Grant number like: PR-263932-19

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Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD 21218-2608)
Patricia McGuiggan (Project Director: June 2018 to present)

Research and Development
Preservation and Access

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$349,879 (approved)
$349,879 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 12/31/2023

Encapsulation: Past, Present, and Future

A Tier II project to conduct experimental analyses on polyethylene-terephthalate (PET) encapsulation products used in preserving historical documents, along with the testing of newer encapsulation materials and the execution of a national survey about the number and condition of encapsulated documents in library and archival collections.

The preservation of documents by PET encapsulation is one of the most popular methods of paper conservation. In spite of this, there are concerns regarding whether the PET envelope traps acidic gases naturally produced by paper which might harm the document. We propose measuring the permeation of gases through archival PET as well as the properties of encapsulated papers. We will also survey the encapsulation methods used in libraries and archives in the US and test the condition of naturally aged PET in local libraries. We will also investigate newer, breathable films which might be used for archival storage of paper documents.