21 August 2012

Conserving Newspapers by Washing ?!?!?

Image as appeared with original article

Conservation and preservation of long-ago created documents and objects is an ongoing challenge and of great importance to genealogists and family historians.

I don’t know about you, and I would never have thought that one might “wash” old newspapers as part of such a process.  My immediate thought was that the newspaper would disintegrate!  And, apparently, when you have the right people with the right know how – that doesn’t happen!

Last month in The Courier.co.uk, the article ‘It might look a bit scary’ – first edition of The Dundee Courier cleaned up for the future’ starts out with ...

The first edition of The Dundee Courier appeared in 1816 — and an original copy still exists in the D. C. Thomson archives. Helen Brown spoke to conservator Emma Fraser about preserving this rare piece of newspaper memorabilia.

Watching someone handle fragile, friable, almost 200-year-old paper is actually quite frightening for the onlooker. Especially when it is being submerged — albeit VERY gently — in a trough of water. You expect it to disintegrate before your eyes.

But such things hold no fears for book and paper conservator Emma Fraser, who has been working on an original copy of the first Courier from 196 years ago at our Meadowside offices...

Read the full article and learn all about how this edition of the newspaper was “washed!”

Editor’s Note: Thanks to British Genes for bringing this to our attention.

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