Course:5: Access and Outreach
Lesson:Lesson 3: Exhibits and Loans
Topic:Placing Materials Within Exhibit Cases

Exhibit Cases, continued

Placing Materials Within Exhibit Cases

Sheet Materials
Sheet materials should be attached to pieces of rag board or other archival material that has been cut just slightly larger than the document itself. This “mount” provides a barrier between the document and the exhibit case and provides support for the object when it is moved. You should attach the item to the mount using archival quality corner supports or edge supports – neither of these options requires adhesive being applied to the item itself.  See the example below.

materials mounted against ragboard









Books and Bound Volumes
Bound volumes should be displayed horizontally, or at a mild angle. Do not prop them upright! If an open volume is displayed, it shouldn’t be laid out completely flat, but left to open only as far as the binding will allow. If the pages don’t remain open on their own, you can use strips of polyester film closed with double-sided tape placed around each side of the open book.

If possible use a book cradle or wedge, or even supports made from folded museum board, to assure that the volume is opened only as far as it does naturally.

Finally, turn the pages every few days to reduce exposure to light.

Resources icon

NEDCC has two publications specifically about mounting documents for exhibits. They are “Matting and Framing for Art and Artifacts of Paper” and “How To Do Your Own Matting and Hinging.” Click here.