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How should I store newspaper clippings?

Newspapers are made from low quality wood fibre pulp, which will rapidly become brittle and darken, especially when exposed to light. The deterioration can be slowed down by chemical treatment, but these often darken and deteriorate the paper in themselves anyway.

Deteriorated newspaper should not be stored near photographic materials or other paper materials unless they are protected by acid free archival tissue or protective boxing of some sort.

Correct storage will prolong the life of newspapers:

  • Place clippings in a polyester film folder (see How do I find conservation materials?) with a sheet of alkaline buffered paper behind them
  • Put polyester folders in file folders and boxes of high-quality (archival) acid free alkaline buffered materials; store in cool, dry and dark conditions.

If you cannot store the clippings as advised, or if they are already too badly damaged, you can save the information by photocopying the clippings onto acid-free paper.

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