Preserving and Framing a Delicate Newspaper

Dear Donia,
How do I preserve and frame a delicate newspaper?

damaged newspaper


Q. Dear Donia,

I have a 100-year-old newpaper that is literally falling apart. There is a photograph in the very middle that is pretty well preserved but the paper is extremely delicate to handle and tears readily. I want to frame only the inside piece (one sheet) as it is a rare picture of the presidential candidates that I want to preserve. It has to be the original for a collection so photocopying it won't work. Do you have suggestions as to how I should handle it and how to get it framed? I'd greatly appreciate your advice! Thanks, Bernadette

A. Dear Bernadette,

You are right in that we usually suggest photocopying or scanning for newspapers, especially for display. If you must keep the original, you will need to contact a conservator to deacidify and encapsulate it for you. That or full conservation treatment are the only real options if you want to keep the original in the frame.

You can find a conservator in your area by referring to the American Institute for Conservation's "Find a Conservator" (Find a Conservator) page. 

When framing, be sure to find someone who can do conservation framing, meaning using museum-quality matboard to mat and mount the object and using UV blocking glass or Plexiglas. For more advice on framing, speak with your conservator as they will have other recommendations based on treatment.