Mylar, Encapsulation and Ink

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    • #131863
      Laura Mabee

      Hello C2C’ers!
      I have a question regarding the process people undertake when putting an artifact into their collection. At my museum, we are looking to revamp the way we do things, and I thought I would get some opinions.

      When digitizing a new archive, do you digitize it before you encapsulate it in mylar or after? I was thinking before mylar (therefore no glare). Additionally… in order to keep the archival number with the artifact (and not directly on the artifact) — I was thinking of writing the artifact No. on the mylar itself.

      Has anyone had experience with writing on mylar? Do you have any specific pens/inks you use? Mylar is a very plastic product, and I can see most inks just smearing off.

      I truly appreciate your patience and kindness with me!
      Best regards,

      Ps. I have found that our double sided tape doesn’t hold the mylar down for long. Any brand suggestions for a strong adhesion?

    • #131866
      Jane Dalley

      Hi Laura,

      I have photocopied and scanned documents that have been encapsulated, without any problems. You can also photograph encapsulated documents, using a polarizing filter to eliminate the glare.

      I use 3M double-sided tape #415 and have not had any problems with it releasing.

      I have not actually written on polyester but if a Pigma pen doesn’t work, you could put a label in the margin of the encapsulated document (sealed in with another strip of 2x tape).

      Hope this helps,


    • #131865
      Ella Rayburn

      You can write on polyester using a very fine Sharpie. I happen to use a blue one. It is permanent. Pigma and other pens wipe right off polyester. To test just use a damp cloth or kleenex.
      I want my artifact #s on my artifacts and also on the storage housing.

    • #131864

      I do the same thing as Ella when it comes to labeling mylar. It is really the only time I use a Sharpie or non-archival pen. However, I have also written on an archival sticky label ( with an archival pen and then put the label on the upper corner of the mylar sleeve. I have found both methods to work well.

      As far as digitizing while in the mylar sleeve, I have found that when using the scanner it is no problem at all. I actually prefer to have it in the sleeve when scanning because it add stability. That being said, I have not had good lucky photographing a document while in the sleeve because of the glare.

      I use the double sided 3M tape from Gaylord ( If you try making the envelope slightly larger than the object, thus allowing for a little wiggle room, it does not come apart. This is especially true if you are putting multiple pages in one sleeve.

      Hope this helps!

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