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Thursday, May 16 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
11. Partnering with Senior Engineering Students: Design and Prototype Building of Document Encapsulator

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This paper describes the collaboration between the Preservation Unit of the Texas A&M Libraries and a team of Senior Mechanical Engineering students to design and build a prototype of document Encapsulator. Encapsulation of flat paper collection items, such as documents, between polyester film is standard practice preservation strategy. Equipment currently available on the market for encapsulation either employ heat or an ultrasonic welder to create the seams in the polyester film. This equipment is only produced by limited sources and can be cost-prohibitive. Each year, the Engineering College calls for project proposals for Capstone projects, a senior class project designed to have students work with a client to design and complete, mimicking the real world. The Preservation unit submitted an open proposal to design and build an encapsulator and was selected by a mechanical engineering team.

Working with a team of five senior students, the project took place in two phases, over the course two semesters. The TAMU Encapsulator design includes several innovations including an off-the-shelf removable ultrasonic welder locally sourced, an interchangeable welder tip, a digital control box to adjust percent strength of the weld, and additional seam types. With a budget of $15,000 provided by the Library, these students were able to build a working prototype from off-the-shelf components and came in under budget. The prototype was presented in the Annual Senior Showcase, competing with all Engineering specialties and awarded Second Place.

avatar for Jeanne Goodman

Jeanne Goodman

Conservator, TAMU Libraries
Conservator for the University Libraries at Texas A&M University. Received MLIS from Simmons College with a concentration in Preservation and undergraduate work with University of Delaware in Collections Care. Completed the full-time Bookbinding program at North Bennet Street School... Read More →


Julie Mosbo

Director of Preservation, Texas A&M University Libraries

Thursday May 16, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT
Uncas Ballroom Foyer Sky Convention Center, Mohegan Sun