Retaining bound newspapers-part 2

August 31, 2010

I posted this question to the regional library list at the same time that I posted it here.  I got quite 19 responses so I thought it would be worth sharing  some of those thoughts.

Question: should we retain or dispose of old newspapers that have be microfilmed and are acidic, and/or in bad condition?  And space is needed.
Summary of responses.

retain dispose
Academic 2 1
Historians 3 3
Hist. Soc 4 1
Genealogists 2 0
Public Lib 1 1
Conservator 1 0
Total 13 6


Reasons to retain
researchers prefer
loss of microfilm or reader
degradation of microfilm
intrinsic value
our mission is to keep things
better copy or photo from the original
irreversible decision
film may be missing issues
Reasons to dispose
you’ve maintained the intellectual content
Suggestions and thoughts
  • Keep a few important artifacts (Kennedy assassination, Pearl Harbor, 9/11, etc.)
  • Make sure there are films and masters
  • Are the originals being retained elsewhere?
  • Build an addition so you have room
  • Give to another institution or sell on E-Bay
  • Keep a sample to show the condition and thus why you disposed of them.
  • RRLC is embarking on:  digitizing old newspapers from the microfilm
  • Digital files are still considered unstable. Microfilm or fiche are still preferred from a preservation standpoint

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