Waupun Historical Society

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Catalog Number 2015.0500.0086
Object Name Document
Scope & Content

Encapsulation is a technique for permanently preserving valuable one-sheet documents. Both sides of the item can be read when completed. This simple method, developed by the Library of Congress, seals the document with special double coated tape inside acid-free polyester film.

Thus the item is protected from damage but accessible for reference.

All the necessary materials and tools are listed on the facing page. One or more weights are also needed.


Each document to be encased takes two pieces of polyester film two inches longer and wider than the document.

Place a weight on the center of the top sheet of film. Reach under the top sheet and peel the backing paper from the strips of tape in clockwise fashion. Squeegee the film as you proceed. Then roll the entire surface with a rubber roller (brayer) to force out the air and to ensure good adhesion between the film and the tape.

Place a strip of double coated tape, adhesive side down, on each of the four sides, of the polyester film, leaving a 1/8" margin around the document. Leave a gap of approximately '1/16" at each corner to help in removing the air from between the two sheets of film. The ruled alignment grid helps in positioning the tape accurately. Most of the excess film will be trimmed away later.

Place one sheet of polyester film on the grid, aligning two adjacent edges with the grid lines.

Wipe the film with a lint-free cloth to remove dust particles and create a static electric charge.

Center the document on the film. Place a weight or weights on the document to hold it in position.

Remove the weight. Dust the surface of the top sheet of film which will be in contact with the document. Place the film on top of the document and squeegee carefully to force as much air as possible from between the sheets of film.

Trim the resulting envelope so that about 1/16 of film remains outside the tape lines all around. Finally, clip the corners with the corner rounder to eliminate sharp points.

Encapsulation Materials

Mylar Polyester Film For use in protecting documents. Acid free. In 3 mil and 5 mil thicknesses. Please specify size.

No. 6260ANo. 6261A
Size in inches3 mil5 mil
(height x width)25 (min.)10025 (min.)100
10 x 12"$ 2.50 $ 8.25 $ 4.00 $13.35
101/2 x 13"3.2010.655.2017.20
101/2 x 16"4.3514.507.0023.35
12 x 14"3.9013.006.3021.00
20 x 29"11.3537.7518.4561.50
Special Size are available up to 40X 58. Please write for price

Double Coated Encapsulation Tape Inert tape specially prepared for archival encapsulation.
No. 6265A No. 6266A
Rolls1/4" x 36 yds.'/2" x 36 yds.
1 $2.25$3.35
62.20 ea.3.25 ea.
122.15 ea.3.15 ea.
Encapsulation Tools

Knife Stainless steel blade 3" long, riveted in black handle. 5 3/4" long.
No. 764$1.35

Squeegee 8" long for smoothing layers of plastic around document.
No. 6268A $5.75

No. 6268AR Replacement blade.55

X-Acto Knife Lightweight aluminum handle with replaceable
steel blades.

No. 48 With 6 blades$2.95

No. 49 Replacement
blades-5 per pkg.1.55

Dust Cloths Twenty 12" squares of soft bleached cheesecloth.

No. 7721 pkg.$1.65
12 pkgs. 1.50 ea.
Brayer A hard rubber roller in plastic frame for pressing plastic and tape firmly together.
No. 6269A$1.90

Corner Rounder Curved trimmer to round the corners of finished encapsulations for protection of other materials and the hands.

No. 6270A$1.00

Alignment Grid For squaring plastic films and documents. One size, squared in centimeters. 201/2 x 243/4" (52 x 63 cm.)

No. 6271A$2.75
Collection Waupun Heritage Museum Collection