To laminate or not…

April 3, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Fellow collector Morris Brill asks, “What are your thoughts of laminating newspapers?”

In a word–or three–don’t do it. Lamination is a one-way process, by which a newspaper is permanently sealed between two large pieces of plastic, heated such that the two plastic sheets bind to one another. Newspapers laminated as such cannot be retrieved without considerable damage.

Collectors typically like to touch and feel their newspapers, and if kept in a protective folder, a Mylar bag or sleeve, or even if encapsulated (similar to lamination but the only permanent binding is at the edges, beyond the margins of the newspaper) this can be done. But if laminated a newspaper cannot be returned to its unprotected state.

Now, if a newspaper is very fragile, has more of a personal, family, or sentimental attachment and there is no concern for potential collector value, then lamination might be an alternative for permanent protection.