Stabilization of brittle newspaper pages
Funded through the KUR – Programme for the Conservation of Moveable Cultural Assets
Newspapers have been produced with wood-pulp since the mid-19th century. Although wood-pulp paper is ideal for mass production, it has proven quite unstable over time. The acids in the pulp cause the paper to yellow, lose integrity and become so brittle it can no longer be handled – a problem for many libraries, museums and archives which wish to keep their collections open to scientific research.
Several methods are commonly used to neutralize the acidity in acid-damaged books. However, there was no technology available to stabilize heavily damaged, large-format newspaper pages at a reasonable cost. Such measures are necessary so that the brittle pages can be digitalized and the information on them preserved for the long term. This project worked on an innovative approach that stabilizes highly brittle paper. The conservators first laminated the newspaper folios in order to photograph and/or digitalize them. The goal of the project was to develop a practical, cost-effective method to stabilize newspapers en masse.
Berlin State Library – Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz
Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research, Potsdam
Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design
Acting Director of the newspaper department
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Tel.: +49 (0)30 266 436400
Fax: +49 30 266 436299
www.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de (external link, opens in a new window)