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The Best News Clipping Preservation Site Ever

Updated on March 21, 2014

Saving Newspaper Clippings For Everyone!

Everyone has a reason to save a newspaper clipping at one time or another. With me it's because I collect autographs and I clip news articles from the sports pages and send them to the featured players for autographing. For others, it might be a clipping of a son or daughters wedding, or even a dear friends funeral.

But whatever the reason, if you want that newspaper clipping to stand the test of time, you have to treat it special. The paper used for printing the local news is loaded with acid that will soon discolor or destroy your clipping.

Trying to find the proper way to preserve your newspapers or clippings can be discouraging but this site will show you a few of the best ways to go about it and several ways to avoid.

Regardless of the way you choose to preserve and protect your newspapers or clippings, try it on unimportant newspaper articles first! There are methods described here that I have not tried as well as my own preferences, but I can not be held responsible if you damage your articles by trying these methods.

My Personal Experience!

While there is a lot of advice about preserving newspapers and clippings on the Internet, I have found that none are perfect.

Laminating would seem to be a good idea, but it can ruin your clipping in the long run. (See the section from the Florida State Library And Archives below). While they state that laminated papers will turn to dust over the years, I have a clipping of my fathers funeral that has been laminated for over twenty-four years and still appears bright and fresh. Perhaps it will "turn to dust" if I try removing it from the laminate or in another twenty years. I have no way of knowing as I plan on leaving it just as it is and I probably won't be around in another twenty years.

I plan on laminating a few of my less desirable autographed clippings as an experiment in the near future, but for now I keep them in the acid free, polyester film "pockets" that you can buy in any office supply or sports card store. Some have been stored this way for years without any visible effects.

I have started using a sheet of Mylar with a sheet of acid and ligin-free paper for backing as I have been told that the Mylar is better. Clippings stored this way are then placed in folders and filed. For me, the polyester film "pockets" are preferred because I can keep them in a notebook where it is much easier to view them whenever I want to.

Warning: Don't use magnetic photo albums -- the glue on the "magnetic" pages will speed up the deterioration of your papers and photos.

Following articles from our countries leading historical societies as well as personal collectors will give you a variety of ideas on protecting your newspaper treasures. You'll need to decide for yourself which method works best for you.

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How can I preserve my newspaper clippings?

From The Library of Congress On Preserving Newspaper Clippings.

Newspaper is made from wood fibers and it will turn dark and brittle very quickly, particularly when exposed to light. Although it can be chemically treated to slow down further deterioration, many of the treatments will also darken the paper. Newspaper will damage other paper or photographic materials with which they are stored if the other items are not protected from them.

The only way to preserve the original is to store them properly:

1.Place clipping in a polyester film folder with a sheet of alkaline buffered paper behind it.

2.Put the polyester folders in file folders and boxes of high-quality acid-free, alkaline buffered materials.

3.Store in a cool and dry location, such as a closet in an air-conditioned room.

Protect Your Newspapers and Clippings

Researched from the State Library and Archives of Florida.

Black and white newsprint can be deacidified with an alcohol based deacidification spray. However, these sprays will affect colored inks so be careful about using on any colored pictures in newspaper articles. It can also be harmful to your lungs so be sure there is plenty of ventilation when spraying.

Deacidification spray is available at art or scrapbooking stores or on the Internet from library and archival supply vendors.

Deacidification sprays are not permanent and acids in newsprint will eat through the buffer in time, and the paper will again become acidic. One application will last from 7-10 years and must be reapplied after that time.

Newspaper clippings should not be glued into scrapbooks. Use polyester photograph sleeves or encapsulation envelopes to hold newspaper clippings, then place them into a binder for "scrapbooking" your newspapers. For more information on making your own encapsulations or polyester sleeves, see Encapsulation.

At one time, the conservation world thought that lamination was a good conservation method. Lamination would protect documents from rough treatment and hold fragile items together for posterity. But in time it was discovered that the very act of laminating a document did more harm than good and that lamination is not actually permanent. Over time, the layers delaminate, and the document inside slithers out as dust.

Homemade Preservation Solution

Article by Nicole Humphrey from

You can actually make your own de-acidification solution. Many genealogists swear by this method and it's probably more cost-effective than using the marketed spray products.

Start by mixing milk of magnesia with soda water in a shallow container. Let the mixture stand for about 12 hours or overnight. Do not place anything into the mixture at this point. After the 12 hours, place newspaper clippings into the solution and allow to soak for one hour. Very carefully remove it after the hour and place on a clean, flat surface. I recommend placing it on paper towels to help absorb the moisture from beneath. Very carefully pat the clipping with a paper towel, and whatever you do, do not rub it - this will rub the surface ink and paper off and you will wind up with a ruined clipping. Leave it to dry on it's own for several hours. You might wish to place a paper towel on top and then several heavy books to keep the clipping flat as it begins to dry. Then test with an acid-free pen. It should work great and is an easy alternative to those

Article by Daniela Moneta from genealib mailing list.

Before I became a librarian, I was a paper conservator. The recipe you want

is Milk of Magnesia and carbonated water. You can buy Canada Dry carbonated

water or the equivalent and drop 2 or 3 tablets of Milk of Magnesia in it.

The number of tablets is not critical because the water will only take so

much magnesium and leave a powder in the bottom of the bottle that is not

harmful to paper. Keep this mixture in the refrigerator for a few days with

the cap on securely so the bubbles don't come out. The tablets will

dissolve and the water will be clear with a little residue in the bottom.

You might shake the bottle gently a few times to get it to mix during its

time in the frig. The action of the CO2 is what carried the alkalinity into

the acid paper and neutralizes it and leaves an alkaline buffer in the

paper to counteract the acid. Let the paper dry naturally - don't heat it.

When it is completely dry, keep it in between sheets of mylar (polyester)

or polypropylene in a dark, dry area away from heat. Your newsprint

clipping should be stable for many, many years. The deacidification has

stopped the action of the acid from deteriorating the newspaper. Most

newspapers are printed with carbon inks and will not run when wet. To be

really safe, test a few letters of type with a piece of cotton wrapped

around a toothpick dipped in water just to be sure that the ink is stable.

If the ink is not stable, do not use this method for deacidification. There

are other methods of deacidification for water soluble inks, such as Wei

T'O or Archival Mist available from conservation supply catalogs.



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Tell us how you preserve newspaper clippings or what else you would like to see here! If you enjoyed the site, please give it a rating point by clicking on the "like" button below or at the top of this page.


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