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Storing Those Special Newspapers and Magazines


Storing Those Special Newspapers and Magazines
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We've all had a special magazine or newspaper that we are tempted to keep for the future. It might be for reference or an historical event that we want to share with the future generations in the family.

Sometimes these are valuable, but most often they won't be worth much in monetary value*. It's the fact that "we were there" or how this event has touched our life that makes the edition important to us.

But how do you properly store those newspapers? Ask yourself some questions.

  • Do you want to be able to go back and read the magazines and newspapers from time to time or are you all right with putting them away and letting them sleep in a cool, dark place?
  • Are your newspapers and magazines valuable or more sentimental?
  • Do you want to keep them in pristine condition for 40 years or 400 years?
Whenever I want to know the proper way to take care of something there is one resource I turn to first, Saving Stuff by Don Williams, the senior conservator at the Smithsonian Institute.

Williams suggests his Quick n'Dirty Method for newspapers that will stay in good condition (if left alone) for about forty years. He says the biggest problem are pests!

  1. Find a closet or drawer in a dry area.
  2. Store and stack papers tight together, folded in half (as they are delivered).
  3. Use a pest trap nearby, but not touching the papers.
Williams says be sure to monitor your papers occasionally, checking for both pests and mold. Papers stored in this manner can stay in excellent condition for years.

Want more protection? Use the same basic methods as above, but purchase acid free folders to keep the papers in. Still store in that same dark, dry area and monitor for pests.

If you have unlimited amounts of money, storage areas and very valuable pieces, Saving Stuff says the next step to take is the Pharaoh's Tomb method. No, you don't have to keep your items in a tomb in Egypt! Get a copy of the book to find out more about keeping your items safe for another thousand years.

If you want to enjoy the papers or magazines without ruining them, what about making copies? Take the newspaper to copy place that can make oversize copies and have the front page and any relevant story copied. Then you can frame the copies or reduce them in size to put in a scrapbook of the events depicted.

*Monetary Value
Circulation of newspapers from current events can number in the many thousands and when anything numbers in the thousands, monetary values will not significantly increase for years, if ever. Many publishers will also reprint those memorable issues, so note which edition you are purchasing if buying one at a later date.

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