Preserving Newspaper Clippings

We all have newspaper clippings handed down in the family – article of weddings, obituaries, unusual happening or social events. They can be just small cut-outs, one small article but important to your family history.

Unfortunately, news print paper may not last forever. Many families placed such an article in the family Bible and it has held up for decades. Yet, you should do other methods of preserving those price articles.

With so many vintage newspapers now being digital, you might think you can always get another copy. Maybe or maybe not. If you have no date or which newspaper, that task could prove very difficult.

Instead, the main answer is to scan a good copy of that article. You can use a flatbed scanner, a handheld scanner or take a photo of the article. Do several photos at high resolutions. Do place as its title a short description and then if a jpeg image you can add additional information of the article with ‘comments.’ Once you have digitized the newspaper clipping, you can decide whether to keep the clipping or throw it away. But do make sure you have that copy backed up on another portable hard drive, a disc or flash.

Another method, make good-quality photocopies of the clippings. Be sure to record the source citation of the clipping, if there is any, on the photocopy with a soft #2 pencil. Even if you do not know the newspaper’s name and the date, keep looking, you might find it with an online digital newspaper collection database.

Keeping the original clipping means you need to purchase archival safe sleeves to store them. Archival sleeves will protect the clippings and prevent any damage they may cause by touching other documents in your collection. Place one article per sleeve. Store the sleeves in a 3-ring notebook or archival box in a mild temperature location that is not exposed to moisture.

A big process you should never do is to laminate an original news article. If you want to laminate a photo copy, fine, if you do, make sure you have several copies.

Having these original clippings can truly add to information about your ancestors. If you don’t have, see if you can locate newspaper advertisements of businesses your ancestor operated.

Photos: Former President Grover Cleveland purchases property in April 1906 to build a winter home in a small Florida town; Stuart’s Dr. Newnham had surgery and now recovering in 1929; and Helen Willis Love went into a coma before being sentenced for the murder of her husband in 1937.

Related Blogs:

Newspapers Online

What to Look for with Vintage News Articles

United States Newspapers

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