In the Collection Care Department we are responsible for preserving the documents stored at The National Archives and ensuring that the public can access them. Decades ago, in an effort to meet these goals, conservators at The National Archives laminated many commonly accessed documents in the collection using semi-transparent tissues.
These ‘area bonded fibre laminates (ABF)’, are covered on one side with a thin layer of adhesive (usually a synthetic acrylic polymer). During lamination, a document was sandwiched between two ABF tissues and pressed using a heat press at approximately 85°C for one minute. In the 1970s and 1980s, this process was considered state-of-the-art in ensuring document preservation. Continue reading »