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Subject: Preservation of clippings

Preservation of clippings

From: Charles Stewart <cstewart>
Date: Tuesday, December 1, 1998
Linda Most <most [at] kravis__org> writes

>I have in my collection ten storage boxes of newspaper press
>clippings which date back to the mid 1980s.  Some are mounted on
>bond paper using various types of clear tape and some are filed as
>clipped.  We have made the management decision to begin immediate
>preservation photocopying of this collection and will probably scan
>the copies into digital storage in the near future, but there is a
>part of me that hesitates to discard the originals, brittle and
>yellow as some are becoming.

Hopefully archivists will have more for you on this than I can
provide, but we have done a lot of preservation microfilming here on
items such as this, and solutions have varied as to whether to
retain the newsprint. The idea, I take it, is that the special
selection and organization of the items--and perhaps
annotations--makes them unique, rather than the rarity or
artifactual value of the modern newsprint itself.  When you say
preservation photocopying, do you mean xeroxing or some other
paper-to-paper copying method?  Microfilm has often been chosen here
because of the very long life expectancy, the ease and relative
cheapness of producing subsequent copies from the film master, etc.

Preservation strategies dictate making a number of copies, with
archival storage in separate places, and this is sometimes
considered insurance enough to justify discard of news originals.
Similar strategies with paper coping for preservation might satisfy
you as to the safety of sending the clippings for recycling.

But here is the thing:  It never hurts to retain--as further
insurance--, though it could bring up issues of paper conservation
(which others are more qualified to comment upon than I), given the
use of tape, etc., in the collection; in addition, that is, to your
in-house storage space issues.  But you wouldn't want to discard
before you looked over the copies carefully to ensure that they
successfully preserved all the information, no matter what copying
method is used.  Those are some of the considerations I have seen
applied to such collections here, and no doubt experienced
archivists and conservators will address this further.

C. Stewart, Sr. Photographic Technician,
Library Photo Service, U.C., Berkeley

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                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:49
                Distributed: Wednesday, December 2, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-12-49-022
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Received on Tuesday, 1 December, 1998

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