Should you frame a historical passport and if so, how?

Should you frame a historical passport and if so, how?

This article was inspired by a recent readers request. A British reader was asking to evaluate a British passport 1893, issued in China and written in Chinese. Later due to the pictures sent by him I could see the passport was poorly framed, hence I thought this article about “framing old documents” might be useful for collectors.

First, if you need to frame it, it would be best not to display the original as the iron gall ink in the script can fade in the light. The best thing to do would be to get a good scan of the document (in color, at least 300dpi) and save as a .tif. This will give you a good image to print so that you can display both sides at once. A good digital image will also allow you to share the image with your whole family!

Should you frame a historical passport and if so, how?

Even though you will be displaying a copy, a good print will look virtually the same as the original. When displaying, mount in a window mat. The mat and mount should be a good, museum-quality mat board (most frame shops will have this type of mat board). The glass should be UV coated to protect the copy and give it a longer life. If you want to use Plexiglas, Lexan would the the best choice as you can find UV blocking Lexan. The piece can then go into a frame of your choice and displayed anywhere in your house.

You will want to continue to store the original in an acid-free, lignin-free folder (the plastic sheet protector could be bad for the document) in your file drawer to continue to protect it. It is the best approach to displaying the information and yet protecting the original for future generations.

Second, if you need to frame the original document then I recommend to follow these tips…

http://www.mnhs.org/preserve/conservation/reports/paperframing.pdf

 

Should you frame a historical passport and if so, how?

 

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