What type of protective enclosures should I use for my newspapers?

Supportive protective enclosures include: acid- and lignin-free buffered folders, flat boxes with lids the same depth as the base, and stiff boards for "board-setting" (sandwiching neat stacks between preservation-quality boards and securing the sandwich with broad strips of poly strapping or strips of bookcloth fastened together). Clear polyester sleeves can be useful for clippings and papers that have been deacidified by a conservator. Note that polyester sleeves carry a static charge that can damage brittle newspapers, do not have an alkaline buffer, which provides a desirable neutralizing effect on acids in paper, and add considerable weight and bulk to storage.

The Northeast Document Conservation Center  has put together very useful technical leaflets on storage enclosures for paper items as well as a list for Conservation/Preservation Supplies and Equipment — Archival Supplies. See additional lists of preservation suppliers.

Store physical newspapers that are used frequently in acid- and lignin-free flat boxes with the lid the same depth as the base. Boxes can be purchased in standard sizes (18 x 24 x 2.5 inches or 24 x 30 x 2.5 inches) and inserts can be made from acid- and lignin-free buffered cardstock to customize the interior size of the box to that of the newspaper. Stack newspapers neatly in chronological order for boxing and prepare a finding aid that fully lists the titles and issues. Clearly label the box with the title(s) and range of dates contained within and attach a list of issues missing from the box to the inside of the lid to prevent unnecessary handling. Physical newspapers that are not used (e.g., because the paper has been preservation microfilmed, see below) can be more economically stored wrapped and bundled in a sturdy acid- and lignin-free buffered paper. Board-setting (see above) can provide further protection and support. Label the bundles following the same protocol for labeling boxes.

Last Updated: Mar 02, 2021
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