Creative ways to save and share your family history.
How do I safely include newspaper articles in my heritage scrapbook?
A. Newspapers—which are meant to be pitched or recycled after you read them—are printed on poor-quality paper that contains acid and lignin. Both are naturally occurring substances that cause newsprint to yellow and deteriorate rapidly, especially when it's exposed to sunlight. Rather than use a fragile clipping in your scrapbook, photocopy it onto acid-free, buffered paper.
If you want to include the actual clipping, first deacidify it using a spray product such as Bookkeeper from Preservation Technologies, which neutralizes the acid and builds up an alkaline reserve. This will help stabilize the clipping, but newsprint is still fragile. It's best to encapsulate it in a polypropylene sleeve (available from archival suppliers) before mounting.
If you don't go the spray route, encapsulate the clipping along with a piece of acid-free, buffered paper to protect against acids that continue to form in the newsprint.