What is the best way to preserve and store newspapers?

September 25, 2008 by  
Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

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!

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy...


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

  1. Charles Signer on October 1st, 2008 9:41 am

    I think your folders are the best for storing newpapers. Much of my collection is in them. I also have the presentation cases, but I found there is a limit to how many pages you can put in each volume. Some years ago I got a German product which was marketed as the world’s largest stamp album. Papers fit nicely into that, but it is expensive.

    To store and carry around the folders I use portfolio cases for paintings and drawings which I got at an art store in Washington, DC. You can zip the cases up so the folders won’t fall out or get exposed to air or light. They have carrying handles. The larger ones will hold even the largest “bedsheet” size papers of the mid-19th century. Any store that sells paints and canvas to artists probably carries these cases. I think you should offer them, too.

    I have seen storage cabinets on the internet which are designed to hold blueprints. Some of them are lockable. There are also safes with wide drawers that also offer some protection against fire. I think I eventually will invest in some of these.

    I am still looking for an economical and acceptable solution for displaying newspapers on a wall. This would have to provide protection against the elements as well as theft while offering relatively easy access to the paper.

  2. Jim Wheeler on March 23rd, 2010 9:33 pm

    Fire/Waterproof Safe Protection for Newspapers

    I would like to ask for any comments and/or recommendations for a safe in which to store and protect my collection. The obvious concern is to provide wateproof and fireproof protection to my valuable, growing, and surely quite flammable items.

    I typically store post 1870’s (non-rag) papers in individual presentation folders that are labeled and placed chronologically in 20×24 inch Century archival storage boxes. Earlier linen papers are primarily kept in the mylar sleeves of 11×17 or 18×24 leather Prat Start 4 portfolio cases. As a result, the interior dimensions of a safe required to store these items is at least 20×24 inches. In addition, to provide easy access to the stacked boxes or presentation cases, the safe should have multiple, full width, horizontal shelves and possibly a dehumidifier to remove moisture. I found a number of these features at Fort Knox safes (www.ftknox.com) and have requested a quote on a safe that I “designed” with their Safe Builder option.

    I have also looked at several other web sites for gun safes which may be appropriate for my purposes but have become somewhat bewildered by the number and types of safes, their various degrees of water and fire protection, and the frequent lack of detailed interior dimensions and shelving options. However, before continuing a more detailed search, I thought it may be worthwhile to ask if someone else may have already solved this problem or is willing to provide some suggestions to help me narrow down the hunt.

    If anyone has some experience to share on this matter or specific recommendations, your comments would be most appreciated.

    Jim Wheeler

  3. TimHughes on March 23rd, 2010 11:48 pm

    Jim – Hopefully others might offer some suggestions. I was going to suggest a gun safe, but I see you’ve already explored that one. Let’s hear from some others….any good ideas?
    Tim Hughes

  4. michael hughes on April 4th, 2010 4:45 pm

    I just bought a house, and tore up some old flooring . Under the floor was 1937, 1926, up to 1943. One is the sunday mirror from n. y. city. It has color picture of president F.D. Roosevelt. It is like a magazine. also has picts. of his mother, wife, and all sorts of other people,but mainly about him and his family. Is this paper worth any thing. I can’t find anything out . All so i think it is about his 2nd. term.

  5. michael hughes on April 4th, 2010 4:50 pm

    I’m sorry , I wrote on the wrong page.

  6. Miroslaw Konopa on October 31st, 2011 2:41 am

    Gazety, to wielka trucizna. Siostra moja od 40 lat przechowuje gazety w całym domu. Wszystkie miejsca są zagracane różnymi czasopismami. Śmierdzi tak w tym domu, że muszę masce tam chodzić. Efektem jej przebywania w tym smrodzie to groźny rak płuc, ale nadal zbiera gazety – jest psychicznie chora.

  7. GuyHeilenman on January 5th, 2012 8:32 am

    Hello Vaughn,

    Please send details to timothy@rarenewspapers.com


  8. Charles Butler on February 19th, 2013 6:54 pm

    Hello, do you have any large acid free plastic bags size 12″x13″ that I can store my newspaper in?

    Best regards,

  9. Aaron on February 13th, 2017 6:09 pm

    Hello! I have a couple general storage/handling questions for my growing collection. So far I’ve taken your advice and have my mainly Revolutionary era newspapers stored in your folders, all in an archival storage box from University Products, which is kept in my room. Is there anything else you recommend for long term storage? I’ve seen a lot offered, like small desiccant canisters and so on.

    I’m also thinking about taking pictures of my smaller issues and making a pdf out of them; I know light is the enemy but I figured brief exposure will be ok.

    Thank you!

  10. GuyHeilenman on February 21st, 2017 11:10 am

    Hello Aaron,

    You are correct. The issues can certainly stand up to the light of day for days at a time without consequences. As far as storage, we would simply recommend you stay the course. What you are doing is great – especially if the humidity is not too dry or too moist. 🙂 Guy

  11. lablu on April 6th, 2018 5:55 am

    5 Ways to Save and Store Newspapers
    1. Create a sorting system.
    2. Don’t display the original.
    3. Storage is crucial.
    4. Control your climate.
    5. Keep exposure to a minimum.

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!