Framing an old bible


CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Jul 16, 2002
Wadsworth, Oh
Here's a new one for me. Need suggestions on how to frame and old bible. I thought of building up walls of foamboard around it then putting a matboard with a reverse bevel on it so foamboard doesn't show. Then putting in a shadowbox frame. Any other ideas? They don't want it permantely mounted. Also the cover is missing and the first page is torn off but they want that left on. I'm thinking of using mylar to hold it on. Thanks a bunch. :rolleyes:
Sounds like you have it figured out pretty well. Have you considered using fabrics instead of plain mats?

It might be easier building the sinkmount out of Ethafoam rather than foam board, as it comes in various thickneses, and is very easy to cut. Depends on whether or not your local plastic supplier(s) carry it.

Covering the well with fabric as John suggests could look nice and 3-D, and add color/texture. Make sure the fabric is washed and well rinsed first.

Books in museum displays are routinely secured with archival grade polyethylene strapping. This
can be found at Benchmark (609 397 1159) in 2"
wide rolls. The strap can be set inside the first
page and around the rest of the book and both
of its ends can be secured with high strength
tape to the foam centered board, above the top
(head) of the book. A second strap can be set over
the first one and it can be taped to the backing
board, both above and below the top and bottom
(tail) of the book. This second strap will keep
the tail of the book from coming forward if the
frame is tilted, face down. A 1/2" strip of the
polyethylene can be cut from the 2" stock and this
small strip can be used to hold down the first page of the book. Polyethylene is the preferred
plastic for this job, since it is soft and will not be a problem for the edges of the pages.

A question for Rebecca and Hugh: I think velvet would look lovely in this application but it's not washable. What to do?

How can you tell whether a fabric is liable to bleed or emit noxious dye fumes?

Synthetic fabrics are generally safe, especially
polyesters. Wool is a source of sulfur, which
poses a problem for silver. Silk is too, but much
less so. You can take a fabric you are considering
and rub it against a piece of white mat board, to
check to see whether anything rubs off. You can
also dampen it and set it against the same board
to check for water born transfer. A bible is not
as acid sensitive as some other items may be, so
some of the acid detecting tests, such as enclosure with A/D strips may not be as useful as
those mentioned, above.

Originally posted by A.Wise:
...They don't want it permantely mounted. Also the cover is missing and the first page is torn off but they want that left on. I'm thinking of using mylar to hold it on.
When you say "permanently" do you mean they want to be able to take it out and put it back? Or do you mean that they want a non-invasive, reversible mount that would not change its condition?

If a non-invasive, permanent mount is really what you want, then I suggest the clear film Book Mount. The procedure is to wrap the book horizontally & vertically (under the cover) with clear film (Melinex 516), carefully cut & folded to fit the book.

That is the most supportive mount I've seen for any book or magazine, so it may be the best choice for the fragile, old bible.

After the mount is created, you can actually float-mount it, showing all sides as well as the front, by pulling the vertical pieces' "flaps" through horizontal slots in the mount board, and securing them on back.

The Book Mount is one of several non-invasive, long term stable, and totally reversible mounts detailed in the Clear Film Mounting class.