It’s been kind of an historic week around Clickago Storywerks. First, the Cubs won the World Series. I can still hardly believe I can say that. And then Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. That feels similarly strange coming out of my mouth.
To fans of the Cleveland Indians and Hillary Clinton, I offer my condolences. But this post is not about baseball or politics (or Apple pie or Chevrolet for that matter). It’s about preserving memorabilia.
Now — not 10 years from now — is the perfect time to take steps toward preserving those valuable newspaper pages, jerseys, campaign buttons and, yes, photos of these historic campaigns, be they baseball or otherwise.
The Chicago Tribune printed something on the lines of two and half times its normal circulation the day the Cubs won the World Series. The newspaper didn’t do this because people wanted to know the score. They did this because you can’t put a Facebook post in a box to remember history forever. But you can save a front page. For human beings with hands and eyes, the newspaper is a tactile chronicle of defining historic events.
Unfortunately, newspaper is designed to be cheap and recyclable so it’s not long for this world if you don’t take steps to store it properly. Heat and light are enemies of all kinds of paper, news or otherwise. Proper storage means:
- Cool and dry. Basements, garages and attics are probably not the best choices.
- Acid-free environment.
- Dark and free of dust or other contaminants (think: bugs). So whatever it is, it needs a cover.
Need a lead? How about this box? The Memorabilia box, for $55 available from any member of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers, is an ideal home for your important artifacts. Measuring 16 inches wide, 13.5 inches long and six inches deep, it’s a beautiful, archival box made of acid free, lignin-free materials to keep odd size, bulky memorabilia and documents safe. Plenty of room for the newspaper, event tickets and your World Series T-shirt (or your Trump hat or Clinton-esque pantsuit).
The box comes with two large envelopes also made of archival materials to save newspaper clips or categorize documents and large photos.
Even properly stored, your newspaper will probably last 50 years or less. The acids in the paper will yellow it even with proper storage. So if the news is important enough to keep for your great-grandchildren’s grandchildren, you might want to digitize it or take a picture. But hey, while you’re at it, why not take a picture of you holding the newspaper — and then post it on Facebook. Best of both worlds!