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How to Store Old Newspapers and Maintain Their Integrity Over Time

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Have you ever stumbled upon a stack of old newspapers, perhaps a trove of history tucked away in grandpa's attic, or maybe a box at a garage sale and wondered how to preserve these fragile pieces of the past? While to some, old newspapers are garbage, just taking up space, to others, they are snapshots of history, capturing moments that shaped the world. However, preserving their integrity over time can be a challenge. 

So today, we'll guide you through how to store old newspapers, ensuring they remain as informative and engaging as the day they were printed.

How to Store Old Newspapers: The Importance of Proper Storage

Before we delve into the specifics, it's essential to understand why proper storage is crucial for old newspapers. Paper is highly susceptible to environmental factors like light, humidity, and temperature. Over time, these elements can cause paper to become brittle, discolored, and even crumble to the touch. By taking the right steps to store old newspapers, you can significantly extend their lifespan and preserve the stories they hold.

Best Practices for How To Store Old Newspapers

The first step in preserving old newspapers is to store them in an environment that minimizes exposure to harmful elements. A cool, dry, and dark place is ideal, as it protects the paper from the damaging effects of sunlight and moisture. An attic or basement might seem like convenient options, but these areas often experience significant fluctuations in temperature and humidity, which can be detrimental to newspaper preservation.

Use Acid-Free Materials

When storing old newspapers, it's crucial to use acid-free materials. Acidic materials, including standard paper and cardboard, can accelerate the deterioration of newspapers. Instead, opt for acid-free boxes and folders, which provide a safe environment that won't contribute to the degradation of the paper.

Handle With Care

Always handle old newspapers with clean, dry hands, or even better, use cotton gloves to minimize the transfer of oils and dirt. Be gentle when folding or unfolding the newspapers, as they become more fragile with age. If you need to move them, support the entire newspaper to prevent tearing.

Consider Flat Storage

Whenever possible, store newspapers flat to avoid creating creases or folds that can weaken the paper over time. Flat storage can require more space, but using large, acid-free boxes can make this method feasible, even for more extensive collections. If space is a concern, carefully rolling the newspapers around a large acid-free tube can be an alternative, though flat storage is generally preferred.

Avoid Plastic Bags

While it might be tempting to use plastic bags for storage, they can trap moisture, leading to mold and mildew growth. If you must use plastic, ensure it's archival quality and designed specifically for long-term storage of paper products.

An image of newspapers stored in plastic bags is not a great method of how to store old newspapers.

Digital Backup

For added security, consider creating digital backups of your old newspapers. Scanning or photographing each page allows you to access the content without handling the originals, reducing the risk of damage through frequent use.

Regular Inspection and Maintenance

Even with the best storage practices, it's important to regularly inspect your old newspapers for signs of deterioration or damage. This regular check-up allows you to address any issues before they become significant problems, ensuring the long-term preservation of these historical documents.

Elevate Self Storage: Your Partner in Preserving History

When it comes to storing old newspapers, the challenges can seem daunting. However, you don't have to tackle them alone. At Elevate Self Storage, we understand the importance of preserving history, and our climate-controlled storage units provide the perfect environment for maintaining the integrity of your old newspapers over time.

Our state-of-the-art facilities are designed to offer optimal conditions for the storage of sensitive items, ensuring your newspapers are protected from temperature fluctuations, humidity, and light exposure. With Elevate Self Storage, you gain peace of mind knowing that your treasured collections are in expert hands.

Getting Started With Elevate Self Storage

As we've explored, knowing how to store old newspapers effectively is crucial for maintaining their integrity over time. The tips provided in this guide are a great starting point, but for those who seek the utmost care and expertise in preserving their collections, Elevate Self Storage stands ready to assist.


Don't let environmental factors threaten your precious historical documents. Trust the experts at Elevate Self Storage to provide the optimal storage solution for your old newspapers. Our climate-controlled storage units are specifically designed to protect your valuable collections from temperature fluctuations, humidity, and light exposure, ensuring they are preserved for generations to come.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you in preserving your old newspapers. Or, if you are ready to get going, rent a unit. Let's work together to safeguard your piece of history.