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Newspaper Clippings



MaryLu Lee wrote:

>"If you have old newspapers or clippings or documents that are too brittle
>and want to save them, you can take one tablet or two TBS of milk of
magnesia
>in a quart of club soda, chill mixture overnite, soak clippings in solution
>for 1 hour, blot and lay flat to air dry. They will last another 100 years.
>The remaining mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for the next use.
>(Just remember to mark it so family members are aware it is not to be
>consumed.)"
>
>Comments anyone?

There are several recipes like this available in the literature.  There are
also proprietary preparations (Bookkeeper & Wei T'o) that can be purchased
through archival catalogs. (One catalog, I believe, even has a "kit" for
newsprint archiving that comes with an acid-free album, glue stick & bottle
of deacid. spray)  However, I second the notion that this can be an example
of a "little knowledge being dangerous" in that deacidification tends to be
specific to paper & media type.  In other words, what might work for
newspaper clippings may destroy a watercolor/photograph/album print &c.

For newspaper clippings, the general recommendation is to photocopy them
onto acid-free paper & pitch the originals.  Newsprint is inherently an
ephemeral material, so why fight Nature when you don't have to.  The
photocopies are then easier to store & access.  (I have many 3-ring binders
of them).  However, if the original clippings have artefactual value (eg,
your gr-grandmother's scrapbook), then deacidification maybe warranted.

Bryan L. W. Draper
Special Collections Assistant
The Library of Virginia
800 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219-1905
Tel:  (804) 692-3704
Fax: (804) 692-3709
Email:  bdraper@lva.lib.va.us

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