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Housing Options for Collections: Materials

Instructions and guidelines for requesting housings from Collections Conservation and Housings

Materials Index




  • General, a white rigid board used for matting, housing and Mylboards.
  • Must meet testing requirements such as; pH of 7, unbuffered, at least 87% "rag or other high alpha-cellulose content pulp", and neutral sizing among other qualifications to ensure the material is inert and upholds conservation grade qualities. 
  • Occasionally we come across materials that have an acidic or slightly acidic chemical makeup which upon neutralization can damage or alter the material in unwanted ways. In these situations an unbuffered board such as Photomount is ideal for matting, backing, and/or housing necessarily acidic materials. 
  • Mat/Mounting Board, Un-Buffered


  • Ethafoam is a dense, non-porous surfaced foam plank that can be easily cut and adhered to itself or other materials.
  • CCH primarily uses Ethafoam to build up or fill out boxes. It is also used for bumpers or padding to help secure objects in place or absorb shock during transport.


  • Volara is a chemically inert, smooth surfaced foam CCH uses to line boxes and enclosures for delicate items.
  • It can be easily cut into custom shapes and sizes by hand or by the Kasemake box machine, which makes Volara an ideal and versatile material for lining Ethafoam bumpers, padding the interior of boxes, and more.


  • Fosshape is a non-woven polyester polymer that is inert and tested for conservation use.
  • It behaves like a fabric as it can be pinned, cut, and sewn. When heated with hot air or steam, the polyester melts into itself and hardens, creating a rigid form shaped as it was when heated. 


  • Mylar is an "optically clear, colorless, thermoplastic polyester film" that is "chemically inert and dimensionally stable." (CAMEO)
  • Mylar can serve as an effective barrier to dust and water. Placing a flat object between two sheets of Mylar is a great way to minimize harmful contact with water or surface debris. 


  • CoLibri brand Protective Dust Jackets are clear polyethylene that is "eco-friendly, non-toxic, and 100% recyclable." (CoLibri)
  • These Dust Jackets are custom sized on the book for a perfect fit.
  • The 3.5 mil thick polyethylene covers help mitigate surface damage, such as scratches and abrasion, and contact with dust, water and environmental pollution.



  • Hot melt is a thermoplastic resin adhesive that comes in a solid, stick-like form. It is inserted in a heating gun which warms the stick up in order to melt it. The adhesive is extruded through the nozzle of the gun at a high temperature. The items intended for adherence can be quickly affixed to one another, the hot melt glue will then rapidly cool and set up, successfully adhered the two intended surfaces together.