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.

Project administrator:
Berlin State Library – Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz

Cooperative partners:
Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research, Potsdam
Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design

Mu­seum Global?

The Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the MMK Frankfurt wish to address the effects of globalisation and digitalisation in a project that explores the complex subject of “globalism” and the challenges it brings. With their project “museum global?” they scrutinise modernity and the canon upon which it is based.

Learn more about the project


Carola Pohlmann

Acting Director of the newspaper department

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz

Westhafenstraße 1

13353 Berlin

Tel.: +49 (0)30 266 436400

Fax: +49 30 266 436299