How can I safely display copies of a document using archival glass?
Q. Dear Donia,
I have a copy and an original Civil War discharge document that belonged to my great grandfather. Sadly the original is very brittle as it was not cared for properly. I am going to frame the copy using archival framing materials. I want to attach the copy to an acid free back matting only and not use a top picture mat which is placed over the copy and is up against the glass and the document is under the picture mat. Can I place the copy directly under the archival glass without using the usual picture top matting? Thanks, Maureen
A. Dear Maureen,
You are making a very good decision to display a copy of your brittle Civil War discharge document! You can place the item directly under the glass without a mat if you use spacers between the glass and the backing board with the image on it. Spacers come in clear or black and are meant to blend into the background and not be visible.
It is not a good idea to have items (even if they are copies) in direct contact with the glass due to the chance of condensation or moisture which can lead to the item becoming moldy or becoming adhered to the glass.
Kudos for wanting to do the right thing, and thank you for asking Dear Donia!