Concern for preserving newspapers in 1849…

September 11, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Over 160 years ago the New York legislature had the foresight to be concerned about the future holdings of newspapers, and more importantly the loss of the unique perspective of history which can only be obtained through newspapers of the day. Their cause remains as relevant today as it was in 1849.

The photos show the entire editorial as found in the “Vermont Chronicle” of Windsor, May 2, 1849, but portions include: “…No historical monument that has ever been devised has half the value for future reference that belongs to a newspaper, & no record can be made of current events nearly as truthful, as minute, as systematic, or as accessible, as the ‘happy pages which no critics criticise’ of a periodical journal…” and “…De Tocqueville…has somewhere spoken of the difficulty to be anticipated at some future day of those who may wish to trace the history of our people for the want of durable monuments or records of their current life & achievements…that the newspaper was almost our only historical repository & that was usually destroyed as soon as its contents were glanced at…” and much more.

A fascinating article on the need to preserve newspapers; something which all of us in this hobby continue to do in some small way.

The entire text of this intriguing article may be viewed at:  “Vermont Chronicle” of Windsor, May 2, 1849

What is the best way to preserve and store newspapers?

September 25, 2008 by · 11 Comments 

Morris Brill asks several great questions concerning the rare newspaper hobby. I’ll address each over the next several days, beginning with his first:

“What is the best way to preserve and store newspapers?”

I’ve considered several methods through the years. At first I was using large plastic bags and opening the four page papers and slipping them within, then taping & cutting the bag to the size of the newspaper. This way all pages could be read while being protected by the plastic.  But this obviously didn’t work if the newspaper had more than four pages.

I’ve considered encapsulation but it is relatively expensive and doesn’t provide the tactile experience so important in this hobby: one needs to touch & feel the paper to better “experience its history”.

After a few other failed experiments at proper storage I decided to customize a product I saw for storage of maps and documents. Since appropriate sizes for newspapers were not available we started making them in-house using archival material, now available on our website in eight sizes. These folders also allows the collection to label and make comment on the front of the folder. The newspapers slip in and out of the folders very easily to allow examination of all pages and that important “tactile experience”. I believe University Products offers a similar product but the sizes are not necessarily proportioned for newspapers.

I also like the newspaper storage boxes which University Products offers, and I categorize the newspapers, in folders, by era, one era per box. I find these boxes to be very nice for storing a personal collection and are advertised as being made of archival materials. They are quite strong as well.

If the desire is to show the newspapers to others or for display at a show or convention I might recommend presentation cases which we use for display. We received so much call for this product that we become distributors, now available on our website.

Best also to keep newspapers our of sunlight and high humidity. Newspapers can be professionally matted & framed quite safely, and UV glass is available if the newspaper will be displayed where the sun will hit it at some point in the day. But I would still avoid contact with the sun as much as possible.

More later!