Custom supports are created for display items using acid free phase-board, clear strapping materials, and a moldable plastic called polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG). PETG is an inert plastic that is archive safe and can be easily cut and bent into a variety of custom shapes and sizes.
Supports are created for both aesthetics and functionality.
From the aesthetic standpoint, a variety of displays are used in order to highlight a particular passage or illustration, an interesting binding, cover, or the title page of a miniature book. Different shapes, sizes, and display heights of supports are utilized to pull the exhibition viewers’ eye from one item to the next.
In terms of functionality, the supports are custom made to fit each unique item with the long term preservation of that item in mind. As many of our miniature books are fragile and some quite old, it is important that the exhibition process does not stress book bindings and pages are not crimped or torn in the process. For these reasons the miniatures are carefully mounted using materials that are both archival safe and have a little bit of flex or give to allow for fluctuations in temperature and humidity.
Photos by University Photographer Clinton Lewis