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A Genealogist In The Archives: 5 Easy Steps to Preserving Newspaper Clippings

Monday, February 5, 2018

5 Easy Steps to Preserving Newspaper Clippings

Obituaries, marriage announcements, birth announcements are just a few of the types of newspaper clippings that can be in genealogical records. Are you archiving and preserving them so they don't harm other documents? Yes, newspaper clippings and news print can harm, even damage, other documents.

Various Newspaper Clippings

The chemicals in newspaper print, if in contact with another document, can leave an orange or dark stain. You don't want this to happen to original documents such as death certificates, birth certificates and marriage records. The damage is not reversible!

"Golden Wedding" announcement newspaper clipping, ca. 1944, Houston County, TN. Archives.

Here are 5 steps that the home archivist can use to archive newspaper clippings:

1. Digitize the newspaper clippings. This can be done by scanning or photographing them, then saving them to a computer, thumb drive or backup hard drive.

2. Make good quality photocopies of the clippings. Be sure to record the source citation of the clipping, if there is any, on the photocopy with a pencil. Many newspaper clippings don't have the date or name of the newspaper because that information was clipped off. 

3. Purchase archival safe sleeves to store the clippings. These sleeves can be purchased at any online archival materials store or through

4. Only put one clipping in one sleeve. Stuffing the sleeve with newspaper clippings could damage them. Newspaper clippings, in sleeves, will insure that they don't touch any other documents.

5. File the preserved newspaper clippings in genealogy files, 3-ring binders or wherever genealogical records are stored.

These 5 steps will insure the newspaper clippings are preserved and the information contained in them is saved.

CAUTION: Do not laminate newspaper clippings or any genealogical documents. The laminating sheets contain chemicals that can leech into the documents and destroy them over time. Lamination is very difficult to reverse. Do not do anything to documents that can't be undone. 

Erin Lodge No. 382 I.O.O.F., undated, Houston County, TN. Archives

Be sure to store all genealogical records, newspapers and newspaper clippings in a cool, dry and dark place. Newspapers deteriorate very rapidly when stored in a warm and humid environment.

Newspapers and newspaper clippings can be gold mine for the genealogist, be sure to preserve the ones you have!



Check out these two Legacy Family Tree Webinars:

"Preserving Old Family Letters: Tips from an Archivist"

"Scrapbooks: A Genealogist's Gold Mine"


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thanks for posting this Annette. I save them as I get them, but never with stuff. I loved their suggestions, and will use a few in the future. I got all sorts of family history stuff for both my dad's side and my mom's. Got sort of left in my lap since I'm the oldest kid. Of course when I'm gone that will all go to my boy. Anyway, I appreciate you putting this out here. BIG THANKS from me for sure.

    1. You are very welcome Timothy! Thank You for reading my blog!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.