Expect that sometimes the cost of framing can exceed the price of the item. A good way to look at this is to think of the framing and the materials used as part of the document. Also think of the frame as a piece of furniture that enhances the room in which it is being displayed.
The frame itself is a major part of the cost in framing. Take time to decide and choose a frame that will enhance the document, not overpower it. Ask your framer for suggestions or go to a gallery to get ideas.
To protect the document, acid free materials should be used in the matting and mounting of the item. The most popular materials are Crescent Rag Mat and Bainbridge Alphamat. We suggest double-matting with a width of 2 ½ to 3 inches.
Hinge mount the piece with archival materials to the mounting board. Never dry mount it or otherwise lay it down. Dry mounting will greatly decrease the value of the document. There are archival dry mount tissues, but hinge mounting is a better way to go.
Matting is not only decorative but serves the purpose of keeping the document from touching the glass. If the document touches the glass it can bond to the glass and cause damage. Always use matting as a bridge, or in the case where matting is not desired, use a plastic spacer between the document and the glass.
Light will damage the document. Hang the frame away from direct sunlight and if a display light is used, cover the item with a UV filter. If cost is not a problem, use UV glass or UV Plexiglas. Plexiglas is better than glass as it will not shatter if it is accidentally dropped. Broken glass will cut or scratch the document.
Instead of a wire on the back use a two-point hanging system such as D-Rings. If a wire is used, hang the frame with two hangers spaced a few inches apart. If you use the two-point system, you will never have to adjust the frame.
If cost is a concern, there are less expensive ways to protect the document. Buffered mat board can be used and acid free barrier paper can be used between the document and mounting board. Your framer will know how to do this. Regular glass is also a way to save money.
Remember to never dry mount the document.
If you choose not to frame the document or to frame it later, always keep it in a protective sleeve.
We hope this helps your framing needs, and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.
Check out our video on this very topic:
Charlie Neuschafer can be contacted at: New World Maps, Inc. PO Box 541389, Lake Worth, FL 33454 or at www.newworldmaps.com/contact.
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