Tag Archives: Conservation
Last year, The Augusta County Genealogical Society generously donated rare African American newspapers to the Library of Virginia.
While the collection is comprised of a mere five issues, three issues of the Staunton Tribune from 1928-1931 and two of the Staunton Reporter from 1916, as historical resources these items are priceless, invaluable for the study of African American and Virginia history.
Historical newspapers such as these are especially rare and often in deteriorating condition when they are discovered–when this collection arrived at the Library, the papers were torn, brittle and extremely fragile. It is often the case that newspapers from the early twentieth century are in worse condition than papers published 100 years earlier due to the evolving methods of mass paper production.
The Library’s talented conservator, Leslie Courtois, de-acidified, mended and encapsulated the newspapers so they may be handled safely and studied for generations to come. After conservation, the originals were able to be microfilmed, making them even more accessible to researchers, students, historians, authors and genealogists.
Below are the photographs of the newspapers before and after conservation. The pictures speak for themselves:
AFTER CONSERVATIONBEFORE AFTERBEFOREAFTER… read more »
One of the things that I do with the Newspaper Project is mending newspapers. Last week I repaired an issue of The New York Tribune, a 12-page newspaper from New York City dated May 13, 1862 that was recently donated to the Library. Although it is not a Virginia newspaper, it still contains relevant information about the conduct of the war in Virginia. Many of the articles are simply reprinted dispatches from Union Generals. The articles on the front page describe the capture and occupation of Norfolk, Virginia. The map depicts Union and Confederate positions just southeast of Williamsburg, Virginia.
Another interesting feature of the paper is a 4 page section listing of properties that were going to be auctioned off in order to pay off assessments. This was a public notice that the properties could be redeemed if the owner paid the amount due with a penalty of 14% interest per year within a 2 year period.
Below are before and after photographs of reassembled pages.
How It is Done
With a few household items and one specialty item, I am able to make my repairs. The required items are a pair of scissors, parchment paper (like what you would use to bake cookies — I also prefer the unbleached parchment paper), an electric iron, and Filmoplast R. Another item that is helpful is a large smooth board to iron on. I use a piece of 1/8″ cardboard that is not corrugated and I also have a piece of parchment paper taped onto the board.
Filmoplast … read more »
Despite the fact that the Library of Virginia holds the largest collection of historic Virginia newspapers with 2616 titles on microfilm and over 2000 titles in original format, we are always interested in locating new issues of old Virginia newspapers to enhance our collection. If you or someone you know has old newspapers moldering away in an attic or basement, please send them our way.
We may be interested in your collection (even if it only a few scattered issues), especially if it contains newspaper titles we do not currently have represented in our collection. One of our main goals at the Virginia Newspaper Project is to promote access to these one-of-a-kind primary sources. You may donate your old newspapers or loan them to us long enough to allow us to microfilm them. Once on microfilm, they will be available to the public at the Library of Virginia and through our inter-library loan service. We are available to travel to your location to pick-up original newspapers, and depending on the quantity and condition of your newspapers, we can usually complete the microfilming task in the course of several months. If it is a significant collection, we can also provide a copy of the microfilm to be deposited to your local library so it may be used by your community.
You may direct your questions and inquiries to our Director Errol Somay at 804-692-3559 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org .