Contributors: Melissa Price
Encapsulation is the process of surrounding something with another material.( (AAT, 2004)) In paper conservation, the term is associated with the process of sealing paper between two layers of transparent film, but it can be also used in association with treatment of hazardous materials or handling samples.
Synonyms in English
Enclose, sheathe, envelop
See Encapsulation within the Book Conservation wiki for a discussion the process as undertaken within the book and paper conservation practice.
Encapsulation, especially of documents, can prevent skin oils from coming into contact with the object, protect the object from moisture and dust, and make the object more rigid and sturdy. This can be of particular use if the object is to be handled often. Not all photos or documents should be encapsulated as electrostatic that is generated by the plastic may cause particles to come off the object. Chalk, charcoal, and pastel are particularly susceptible to static cling ( National Park Service 1993).
Encapsulation is also used as a support mechanism for cross-section samples intended to be used under a microscope. This method of encasing the sample in polyester resin, for example, has been used when studying cross-sections of paint samples to examine pigments and layering techniques ( Derrick et al. 1994).
“Encapsulation.” 2004. Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online. Los Angeles, CA: J. Paul Getty Trust. http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabularies/aat/.
Canadian Council of Archives. 2003. Chapter 4:Care in Basic Conservation of Archival Materials. Rev. Ed. 28-38.
Derrick, Michele, L. Souza, T. Kieslich, H. Florsheim, and D. Stulik. 1994. Embedding paint cross-section samples in polyester resins: problems and solutions. Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 33(3): 227-245.http://cool.conservation-us.org/jaic/articles/jaic33-03-001.html (accessed 04/15/14).
National Park Service. 1993. Polyester Encapsulation. Conserve O Gram 13(3): 1-4.