Library project to preserve Tacoma’s century-old newspaper clippings

A plan to protect and preserve deteriorating newspaper clipping files in the Tacoma Public Library’s Northwest Room is currently under way, according to an item published in the library’s November e-newsletter.

The project, known as the Newspaper Clipping Preservation Project, targets clippings that have been regularly used by researchers for decades, and remain essential to current and future local history research. Organized into subject files, the clippings are comprised of articles published in local Tacoma/Pierce County newspapers over the span of the past 100 years. The vast majority of the articles are not indexed anywhere else. The collection is made up of newspaper clippings that are deteriorating rapidly after years of constant handling, folding, and exposure to dirt. Newsprint is known to be a highly acidic paper product that deteriorates easily and quickly if it is not stored and handled with established archival precautions in place. Many of the older, brittle clippings have become fragile from age and constant use, and are torn and breaking at worn folds and along the edges

Recently, the Newspaper Clipping Preservation Project identified parts of the collection at the greatest risk, and in most need of preservation work. Using a $7,000 grant provided by the Pierce County Landmarks and Historic Preservation Commission, the library purchased acid-free folders and clear archival polyester film sleeves, and used them to re-house and encapsulate the most at-risk clippings. As a direct result of this project, the Tacoma Public Library is able to provide continued and enhanced access to the collection, while ensuring the original artifacts are protected and preserved.

For more information, visit http://www.tacomapubliclibrary.org/Page.aspx?nid=7 .