Stabilising damaged newspapers

The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin owns a very large archive of newspapers that is stored in a repository in Westhafen in the district of Tiergarten. Although many of the newspapers in the collection were printed on acidic paper, it has not been possible to perform mass deacidification on the scale necessary, partly due to the expense of such treatment and other practical factors. For this reason, a research project has been initiated together with the Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung (IAP) to explore more economical preservation techniques for large-format newspapers.

The Institut has developed a method of lamination that could be adapted for automated mass production. The newspapers are laminated with films made of polypropylene/ethylene vinyl acetate. This increases their mechanical stability and makes it possible to handle the newspaper normally. The Rathgen-Forschungslabor is currently testing the durability of the various polymers by artificially accelerating the ageing process in an environmental chamber.

Project partners: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung (IAP)
Funding: internal, previously supported by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes und Kulturstiftung der Länder
Duration: ongoing

Postal address:
Schloßstraße 1 a
14059 Berlin

Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 266427100
Fax: +49 (0)30 / 266427110

Director: Dr. habil. Ina Reiche