Looking After Newspaper Clippings

Newspaper Clipping

Newspapers are not designed to last forever – the paper is thin and they are especially susceptible to the elements. Read our tips before to find out how to care for your newspaper clippings. We encourage you to print this page and store it with your medals as a reminder of how to care for them.

STORAGE

  • Don’t store your documents in the attic (too hot), basement or garage (too damp). Pick an interior room, or cupboard
  • Avoid extremes in temperature or humidity. Store away from radiators and vents. Avoid extended exposure to light
  • Keep them off the floor. They are more likely to be damaged by water or insects on the floor
  • Store newspapers and clippings in protective boxes or folders. Avoid using plastic containers or sleeves that smell like a new shower curtain (PVC). PVC generates acids that fade the newspaper print over time. Consider purchasing archival quality boxes and sleeves for precious documents
  • Don’t over pack boxes of papers and clippings. Boxes should be comfortably full without being overcrowded or having empty spaces
  • Store newspapers flat
  • Do not use paper clips, staples or rubber bands to organise clippings. They can damage documents by discolouring them or tearing them. Carefully remove them from antique papers
  • Avoid laminating original documents. The plastics in laminate sheets can become brittle over time, and can produce acids that attack the paper and ink. Lamination is also irreversible!
  • Don’t rush to take clippings out of old albums. Older paper-paged photo albums are probably not harming your clippings but removal may cause immediate damage. Older albums also contain interesting inscriptions that you do not want to lose
  • Newsprint can be unstable. Store newspapers separately from your other family papers
  • Vendors for archival quality boxes, tissue and folders: Preservation Equipment Ltd, Conservation by Design, Conservation Resources UK Ltd

LABELLING

  • Only make necessary marks on newspapers
  • Consider making copies of the originals to annotate or label the folder the item is kept in
  • Necessary marks should be made in pencil on the edge of the clipping or paper

HANDLING

  • Minimize handling and handle with care
  • Always have clean, dry hands when handling documents. Consider wearing thin vinyl gloves to prevent dirt or stains
  • Keep food and drink away
  • Consider making copies of the newspapers or specific articles to avoid handling the originals. You could do this by taking a photograph
  • Refold newspapers along the original centre fold and never fold back on itself

MAKING COPIES

  • Newspapers are printed on paper that was not made to last. Making copies will preserve them for the future
  • Make digital copies or photocopies of newspaper articles. Store the copies in a different place to the original
  • Back up digital copies
  • Do not throw away your original documents after you digitize them. They are not replacements for originals

MENDING NEWSPAPERS

  • Avoid using sticky tape. In the long term the adhesive in the sticky tape with fail and will leave discolouring on the paper
  • Avoid using superglue, Blu-tack, rubber cement or Pritstick to fix newspapers. The adhesive will fail in the long-term
  • If in doubt consult a conservator. Contact Doncaster Museum & Art Gallery, 01302 734293, [email protected].