Archivally Matted Portfolio Prints | Professional Quality on a Budget!

Photographer Sara Lyons presented a proposal to Historic Northampton, a historical society in western Massachusetts. Her project involved researching information on local homes in Northampton that had been photographed in the early 1900s by the Howes Brothers, itinerant photographers who made a living by photographing residential properties and then selling the resulting prints they made to the then-current owners.

Sara’s proposal involved contacting the current owners of the same homes photographed by the Howes Brothers in order to create new “home portraits” based on the same camera angles and positioning of occupants as they appeared in the photographs from the early 1900s.

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Photographer Sara Lyons giving an archivally matted portfolio print to a woman whose home Sara was allowed to photograph as part of her project in Northampton, Mass.
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Photographer Sara Lyons at work. Photograph courtesy of Diane Norman

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The final result of Sara’s successful project was the mounting of a small, elegant exhibition of enlargements of the original Howes Brothers’ images alongside her own color photographs of the same properties. She also created archivally matted portfolio prints to give to the current owners in appreciation for their participation in the project.

She was able to archivally mat and mount her work to museum standards without going over budget with the help of the experts at Archival Methods!

244 Prospect Street, Northampton, MA, photographed by the Howes Brothers, c.1900 Image courtesy of Historic Northampton
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The same home and current owners photographed in 2017 by Sara Lyons.

Pre-Cut Exhibition Mats are made of the same acid-free 100% Cotton Bright White Museum Board that major galleries and museums use every day. We custom cut all of our mats in house. Pre-cut mats come in packages of five mats each and the price reflects a quantity discount.

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Pre-Cut Exhibition Mats are an economical choice when you’re looking for museum-quality presentation portfolio mats.
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Sara’s Pre-Cut Mats as she received them, expertly packaged to avoid any damage or bumped corners.

Our Pre-Cut Exhibition Mats come pre-assembled, meaning that they were delivered to Sara already expertly hinged with acid-free Linen Tape. Again, this Linen Tape is the same material used every day in galleries and museums worldwide.

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When the time came to mount her prints into her Pre-Cut Exhibition Mats, Sara used acid-free Filmoplast P90 Tape, which is the perfect archival solution for easy and professional hinging!

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Easy-to-use archival Filmoplast P90 Tape comes in two widths for hinging both smaller and larger prints. It also comes in a P90 Plus version, when an even stronger hinge is required!

To use Filmoplast P90 hinging tape, as Sara did here, simply position your photograph, artwork, or document in its mat so that when closed the image lines up right where you want it within the mat’s window. Use a gentle weight, such as one of our Leather Paperweights, to keep the print in place.

Next open the mat and place a 1/2″ to 1″ piece of tape under the upper corners of your piece with the adhesive facing up to adhere to the back of the print. The amount of tape extending beyond the edge of the print should be no greater than the width of the tape itself.

matted portfolioNext, place a second short piece of Filmoplast P90 over the tape that extends past the border of your image. The adhesive side of this second piece of tape should be facing down to secure the tape below it to the mat board.

Yes, it’s that simple to professionally hinge your archivally matted portfolio prints—exactly the same way frame shops and major galleries and museums do it.

With her prints archivally matted in Pre-Cut Exhibition Mats and mounted with acid-free Filmoplast P90 Tape, it was almost time for Sara to give her matted portfolio prints to the families who had allowed her to photograph their homes.

The final thing Sara did was to place each of her matted portfolio prints in archival Crystal Clear Bags. Crystal Clear Bags protect matted and unmatted images and other flat materials you have. They keep fingerprints and dirt away from your piece. The resealable adhesive strip on the short edge of each bag helps keep moisture and environmental contaminants away from your piece during storage and while handling.

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A glass case in Sara’s exhibition held some of the original 5 x 7″ Howes Brothers photographs from the early 1900s. Sara made arrangements for these photographs to be archivally organized and stored after the exhibition ends.

In addition to giving “portfolio quality” matted prints to each of the current owners of the homes she photographed, Sara has also made arrangements for the original 5 x 7-inch Howes Brothers’ photographs that she had borrowed for inclusion in her exhibition to be archivally stored when the show comes down. This is also quite simple to do, as each photograph will be removed from the glass display case and placed in an acid-free 5 x 7-inch Open-End Envelope and then stored in an archival (and economical!) Metal Edge Hinge Lid Box, which is available in a wide variety of sizes for any photographs / snapshots / or collectibles you may have.

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If you’d like to learn more, please check out our wide range of blogs and short videos, and please feel free to give us a call or send us an email with any questions you may have. 

Related Links

For more information on Historic Northampton, please click here.

For more information on the Howes Brothers, please click here.

For more information on photographer Sara Lyons, please click here.