Preservation of Newspaper Artifacts



You may well have inherited a full collection of newspaper clippings that your mom or grandmother saved for years. What to do to preserve them?

Keep in mind the paper used to print newspapers was not made to last forever, so if you have any greater than 20 years old, handle with care. Next never place the newspapers with other types of papers such as printed vital records, documents, journals, or photos. See what the clippings contain, could be an AD for an ancestor’s business.

If keeping the clippings use archival sleeves will protect the clippings and prevent any damage they may cause by touching other documents in your collection. Next, you need to make copies of these clippings. Use a good quality camera to make photocopies of each clipping. This does take a steady hand or use a tripod stand.  

The best method is to digitize the newspaper clippings. This can be done by scanning them, even using the scanning app on a smart phone, then saving them to a computer, thumb drive or backup hard drive. Using a flatbed scanner is the best. If using a feed through a portable scanner, it might work but can be dangerous if the clipping gets caught in it.

Keeping the clippings in the archival sleeves will preserve them, and of course, place them in a notebook and keep the temperature where stored at about 65 degrees, never a hot basement, garage or attic.

Keep in mind, your relative may have saved some papers because they were valuable. The example of the newspaper headline that Dewey defeated Truman for the presidency is very valuable. 

Photos: Chicago Daily Tribune, Dewey Defeats Truman (which did not happen); Galloway’s Garage advertisement; and newspaper clipping of female military soldiers (possible ancestors).

Related Familytree.com Blogs:

Online Newspapers

Articles in Hometown Newspapers

Advertisements and your Ancestors

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