Proper Steps In Protecting Historical Newspapers You Wish To Store In A Self Storage Unit

13 April 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Many people save newspapers depicting special events so they can reflect upon them at a later time. If you collect newspapers with information pertaining to a historical event or simply to remember something that made an impact in your life, storing them properly is key to being able to enjoy them in the future. If you are planning on placing these newspapers in a storage unit, special steps need to be taken to ensure they do not become damaged while inside. Here are some tips you can use to keep your historical newspapers from deteriorating in a self storage unit.

Make Sure Conditions In The Unit Are Not Humid

Humidity can do a number on paper products, making them soft due to the composition of the wood pulp and chemicals they are made of. To alleviate this scenario, it is best to rent a storage unit with climate control settings. This way you can keep the level around 35% relative humidity, as this is a dry setting that will help keep your newspapers from becoming ruined while in storage. Purchase a humidity gauge to place in your storage unit so you can adjust the temperature control to tweak the humidity level to this desired number. 

Have The Appropriate Storage Container Available

Newspapers will deteriorate from lighting, making it necessary to store them in a container so their exposure is limited. Since newsprint is acidic, it is important to wrap them in acid-free tissue paper before placing each paper flat inside a container. The best type of container to store newspapers is an archival acid-free storage box. You can slip each newspaper into acid-free folders before placing them into the box if desired. These acid-free protective coverings will help keep the ink intact so you can enjoy the newspapers for many years.

Unfortunately, most papers of today will only last up to fifty years with this type of protection. Making photocopies of the paper on acid-free paper or hiring a conservator to preserve your papers are other alternatives.

Limit The Handling Of The Papers To Preserve Their Condition

The more your prized papers are handled, the more they will deteriorate. The oils on your hands can cause the ink to lift and will contribute to the wear of the paper material. When looking at the newspapers, it is best to wear gloves to keep the paper from premature wear. Do not fold and refold newspapers, as this will weaken their structure. If you decide to go to your storage unit to look at your papers, set them on acid-free paper before opening them. Keep a folding table in your unit so the papers can be laid out flat when taking a look inside of them.

Limiting the frequency in which you reminisce with your papers will help to keep them intact longer. For this reason, making photocopies before storing them is a great alternative, as you can look back on the new sheets as much as you wish without worry.