DaveyMames

Preserving Magazines by Laminating Each Page

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Obviously magazines are just going to degrade over time and every time a page is physically touched, it gets damaged. Has anybody laminated their magazines? How did you do it? Is there a laminating machine you can recommend and what laminates do you buy to refill the machine?

I'm thinking I can use a guillotine to cut the spine off a magazine. Then I will laminate each page one by one in the laminating machine then I will put each page in a binder.

Are there any museums such as the Centre for Computing History that have magazines on display that you can read? How do they preserve them? 

 

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When in a climate controlled surroundings, even amateur, paper can survive for decades easily. Lamination would allow it to withstand greater stress, but I fear only short-term, i would be worried what the lamination does in, say, fifty years.

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I cannot imagine how expensive it would be to laminate even one magazine, let alone dozens or hundreds of them. Even in less than ideal conditions, paper can survive a long time. Look at the Dead Sea Scrolls, or any of the books from hundreds of years ago. They aren't as pristine as they once were, but they are still in tact.

However, I am sure the paper they used back then was a lot better quality than what we get now. Plus the vegetable-based printing ink they use now can't withstand a thumb on it for a short length of time, so magazines from today probably won't last nearly as long as the stuff that came before it. Even 90s magazines withstood reading better than what we get today.

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1 hour ago, DaveyMames said:

If laminating is bad then what alternatives to laminating are there?

Basically, storing them properly will be your best option. You generally want a cool environment which isn't subjected to temperature extremes, so don't keep them in your garage or up in the attic. Direct sunlight is lethal to paper, so some sort of file box storage will be helpful for protecting them from light exposure as well as keeping dust and other junk off them. Polybags, if you're truly serious about preservation, are an option as long as they and the backing boards you choose are archival quality and acid-free. There are companies that make magazine-size storage bags that will fit most stuff printed from the 80's to the 2000's.

Weight is a big problem, since magazines are heavy, so you'll want some kind of heavy-duty storage option like a high-quality metal shelving unit rated to hold several hundred pounds. Wooden shelves, unless they are made of high-quality wood and anchored to a wall or otherwise reinforced in the center, will tend to warp and bend over time, making bookcases and the like less-than-ideal for storing them off the ground. If you're putting them in a basement, keep them several inches off the floor to prevent water damage in case the basement floods.

If ease of access isn't an issue, and you're more concerned about long-term survival as opposed to frequent readability, and you have the money to afford it, there's nothing wrong with renting a climate-controlled storage unit to house your collection. This would also protect it in the event of a disaster like your house catching on fire, and storage units are often insured so you would recoup some money in the event of theft or other problems. :)

*huggles*
Areala

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I was planning on opening a non-profit gaming place where people can play games and read old magazines. I don't think it's a good idea to leave the magazines unprotected. I don't want the pages getting ripped.

What about A4 plastic wallets?: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Westfolio-DKPPA3-Display-Sleeves-Pack/dp/B00XJDN11U/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=a3+plastic+wallets&qid=1552506493&s=officeproduct&sr=1-6

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Scanning the mags and using tablet displays for people to peruse them is your best option IMHO. Keeps your original magazine intact and out of careless hands and the tablet display with suitable software allows multiple magazines to be available per device. You could setup a tablet beside a particular game for example and just have pages with reviews for that game on the tablet along with images of the game box etc.

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On 3/13/2019 at 8:33 AM, E-Day said:

I cannot imagine how expensive it would be to laminate even one magazine, let alone dozens or hundreds of them. Even in less than ideal conditions, paper can survive a long time. Look at the Dead Sea Scrolls, or any of the books from hundreds of years ago. They aren't as pristine as they once were, but they are still in tact.

Actually, the Dead Sea Scrolls are made of leather, not papyrus. The storage environment does make a huge difference. Keeping paper dry and away from flight (in a  closed box) will do wonders for its longevity. 

The one important exception is newsprint/pulp paper (where any gaming magazines printed on that stock?) -- that type of paper  is inherently so very acidic that the only thing to do is copy it to another format (scan, photocopy, whatever). Even under proper storage conditions it will deteriorate. (There are specialist chemical treatments that can preserve newsprint, but they are well beyond the price of  private individuals and small institutions.)  

I really like the tablet idea. The Rooms museum in St. John's, Newfoundland has adopted this -- there is a display case with various artifacts. In front, there is a mounted tablet where one can view pictures of the artifacts and read more background information about each object.  It avoids cluttering the display with large information panels that would only be of interest to a few people. The information is readily available without having to handle the fragile original. 

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