Newspaper Preservation Techniques

By Maureen A. Taylor Premium

Q. Can you tell me where I might be able to find acid-free protector pages for a whole newspaper? My son collects newspapers with special articles to pass on down to future generations. Some of the papers are already yellowing and I can’t find a store that sells large sheets to protect them.

A: Saving newspapers for the future is a two-step process. Since they are printed on paper that contains acid and lignin, they become yellow and brittle as they age. You can stop the deterioration by applying a deacidification solution used by professional conservators. University Products sells a variety of these products, such as Archival Mist, Bookkeeper or Wei T’O, as well as a brochure and an instructional video on how to use them.

Then store the newspaper in an acid- and lignin-free scrapbook like the ones offered by Light Impressions. Or, encapsulate the sheets in polyester film or Mylar—also available from Light Impressions—which can be ordered in rolls and cut to size. Follow the directions for encapsulation in the September 2002 Preserving Your Memories, a special issue of Family Tree Magazine.