What is the best way to frame newspaper articles?


Quick Answer

Original newspaper should be framed on acid-free mat paper, while photocopies should be made on acid-free and buffered paper before mounting. They should be stored in a room with low levels of light.

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Full Answer

Newspapers are prone to fading from exposure to sunlight and fluorescent light and quickly become discolored and turn brittle upon exposure. Regardless of whether the newspaper is an original or a photocopy, the paper should be framed against a back sheet of acid-free mat paper. For extra protection, acid-free polyester sheets may be used as overlay mounts. When handling originals, it is best to use copies that have not been extensively handled or folded. They should be free of moisture before being placed in frames, as moisture invites the growth of mold and mildew. Once ready for display, originals should be placed in a temperature zone of 65-70 degrees F and kept away from insects, which are attracted to the glue and ink in newspaper.

When possible, conservators recommend framing photocopies of original newspaper articles rather than originals, as they will be in better condition to start with, and enjoy a greater longevity. High-quality photocopies should be made on acid-free and buffered paper. Their quality may be tested using a smear test; ink that smudges under pressure indicates a copy will not hold up over time. After placing the photocopy against a back sheet of mat paper, keep it safe by framing with UV-filtering glass. However, the mounted article should not touch the glass itself as it may eventually stick to the surface.

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