Archival Solution of the Week | Newspaper & Magazine Storage Kits



archival newspaper storage



Archival Solution of the Week:  Newspaper & Magazine Storage Kits



Old newspapers, news clippings and magazines are quite often found in collections and family archives. These include everything from complete newspapers with epic INTERNATIONAL headlines such as …


“Men Walk on Moon”(1)


“Titanic Sinks”(2)


“New Wave of Elvis Sightings!”(3)


(1 – the Apollo moon landings actually happened, and WERE NOT filmed by Stanley Kubrick on a soundstage in the desert southwest)
(2 – the Titanic, unfortunately, DID sink – it’s a true story, even though many young folks think it was just a movie – they really do think that!)
(3 – Elvis is, actually, DEAD – long live the King)


archival newspaper storage      archival newspaper storage
8 People who can PROVE the King IS Alive!
(see the left-hand column of this news rag)

“He gave me a brand-new Cadillac.”
“We shook hands in Seattle.”
“He loaned me $5.”
“We shopped together at Wal-Mart.”
“He saved my life with CPR.”
“We met at the Grand Ole Opry.”
“He used my phone to call a pal.”
“We shared ice cream in Michigan.”

… to small PERSONAL news clippings such as this society page marriage announcement from the 1920s:



archival newspaper storage
“Yesterday the long afterglow of a summer sun made glorious both the heavens above and the earth below, as the hour approached for the marriage of ….” (fill in the blank with the names of YOUR parents / grandparents / great-grandparents).



While saved for posterity, there’s just one little tiny problem with important clippings such as this: newspapers & newsprint clippings were never built for posterity!



archival newspaper storage
Various newspaper clippings from the family archive. Each includes important family information and references, yet all are printed on newsprint paper – perhaps one of the worst materials in terms of any natural archival qualities. Internal acids have a tendency to destroy such artifacts from the inside, causing newsprint to become yellow and brittle with age. (Please click on the image to go to our full blog on Preserving / Archivally Storing Old Newspapers.)



Newsprint is, by its very nature, a poor candidate for long term preservation. It is manufactured at the lowest possible cost and contains acids, lignin, and other impurities that are not conductive to long life (please click here to go to our full blog on the principles behind “acid-free” materials and storage entitled Archival Definitions:
Acid-Free / Buffered / Un-Buffered



archival newspaper storage
An old sci-fi pulp magazine from the 1950s. As the term “pulp” implies, the paper stock that was used for this magazine was not very much better than newsprint, and its interior pages are both yellowed and brittle. Notice the chipping and cracking at the bottom of this magazine’s cover (see red box).



This is also often the case with old magazines in your collection. While perhaps “made of stronger stuff” than newsprint, long-term archival survivability was usually never on the minds of magazine publishers, and they can be just as fragile as old newspapers.

Yet there ARE things you can do. If a newspaper, clipping or magazine in your collection is of important historical or personal value, consider contacting a paper conservator who can neutralize some of the harmful acids and impurities (please see our complete blog on Conservators: Pros You Should Know). This can be costly if you are doing more than a handful of clippings, but such “deacidification” can enhance your newsprint’s life expectancy.



archival newspaper storage
Archival Methods’ Newspaper & Magazine Storage Kits contain everything you need to safely store old newspapers and magazines. (Please click on the image for more information.)



More commonly, however, our customers accept the fact that newspapers and magazines will yellow and get brittle over time, and they simply want to extend that time by properly storing these artifacts under optimal conditions. This is where Archival Methods’ Newspaper & Magazine Storage Kits come into play (see pix above).


This “all-in-one” kit contains everything you need to store your important newspapers and magazines:


                an acid-free Drop Front Box (click here for our blog that fully explains “acid-free” materials)

                10 archival Polyethylene Bags

                a metal or plastic Desiccant Canister of your choice


Our Newspaper & Magazine Storage Kits come in 5 different sizes for your every storage need:


                14 x 18″ Tabloid / Folded Broadsheet Newspaper Storage Kit

                16 x 22″ Flat Broadsheet Newspaper Storage Kit

                20 x 24″ Flat Broadsheet Newspaper Storage Kit

                9 x 12″ Small Magazine / Comic Storage Kit

                11 x 14″ Large Magazine Storage Kit



archival newspaper storage
An old newspaper, which was kept for its historical importance. Placing each newspaper or magazine in your collection in an individual archival Polyethylene Bag will help protect it and prevent “acid migration” from one item to another. (Please click on the image to go to our full blog on the principles behind “acid-free” materials and storage.)



The best way to store your old newspapers and magazines with this kit is to place each artifact in its own archival-quality Polyethylene Bag (see pix above), and then store the individually bagged newspapers or magazines in the kit’s acid-free Drop-Front Box.

To enhance this double-layer of protection, your box then needs to be stored in a cool, dry environment such as a closet or shelf in your “living space” of your home. This means avoiding basements or attics, as humidity and temperature variations can harm your materials, as can leaky attic roofs, and leaky basement pipes and water heaters (see pix below).



archival newspaper storage
(Please click on the image to go to our Archival Disasters / Horror Story Contest Winners blog.)



The rule of thumb holds that if it is uncomfortable for YOU in terms of temperature and humidity (as is commonly the case in attics and basements), it will be “uncomfortable” for your stored newspapers and magazines.



archival newspaper storage



As visible evidence of the dangers of excess humidity, the stain on the newspaper clipping above was caused by high ambient humidity – the paperclip simply rusted from exposure to this humidity, the result of which is permanently stained paper.

There are two lessons here:

1) your collectibles and family artifacts do not need to get soaked (from leaky roofs / pipes / water heaters) in order to still suffer damage from the moisture in high humidity environments. This is one of the reasons we include a Desiccant Canister with each of our Newspaper & Magazine Storage Kits.

2) paper clips and staples should be carefully(!) removed from your newspapers, clippings and magazines BEFORE storing them. As another rule of thumb, however, do not remove binding staples from magazines such as the staple-bound copy of Jugend illustrated below.



archival newspaper storage
Jugend, a German magazine from June 13, 1896. This will fit in the
9 x 12″ Small Magazine / Comic Storage Kit.



To determine just which Newspaper & Magazine Storage Kit(s) are right for you, simply measure the length and width of your newspapers or magazines and order the appropriately-sized kit(s) from the chart on our web page.



archival newspaper storage
Our Metal Desiccant Canister is easily re-activated in a regular oven. A Plastic Desiccant Canister – which can be re-activated in a microwave oven – is also available. (Please click on the image for more information on re-activation.)



When you are considering your order you will also have the option of choosing which kind of re-usable desiccant you would like to receive with your kit. You can choose between our Metal Canister Desiccant, which is easily re-activated in a conventional oven; or our Plastic Canister Desiccant, which can be re-activated in a microwave oven (please click here for our PDF on re-activating our Metal and Plastic Desiccants Canisters).


Lastly, one final hint – do not “stress” newspapers folds by packing them tightly into your storage box. Pack them rather loosely instead, as this will help keep newspaper creases from becoming too flattened, which can make them difficult to open without tearing.





Contact Us

If you have any questions, or would you like more information on any of our museum-quality archival storage and presentation materials, please contact us here at Archival Methods. We’re always there to help with any archiving, storage, or presentation questions you may have.

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