<Presserve" TODAY’S PAPERS AS TOMORROW’S HERITAGE

A CAMPAIGN TO CONSERVE NEWSPAPER ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES


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Introducing Presserve

NEWSPAPERS may be about what's happening now — but they are also publications ‘of record’, providing future generations with unique and hugely comprehensive information about life today.

As well as old editions — or ‘back numbers’ (because for most papers, each daily or weekly edition is numbered) — many papers also have maintained libraries of cuttings (or clippings) recording specific events or the careers of key individuals.

As many newspapers move to new offices, huge collections of back numbers are threatened — and the cuttings libraries that were essential before the days of digital archiving and search engines also face destruction.

Some papers are being kept in dank storage rooms, without proper shelving and in no proper order. Presserve has been told of others being kept in a garage. It's not surprising that they quickly become damaged and unusable. Such conditions are believed to be typical of many around the country.


Picture © Georgina Morris 2013

Television progammes such as Who Do You Think You Are? being run by the BBC in the UK and NBC in the US would be far harder to produce without these invaluable resources.

Presserve is a campaign started by a small group of journalists in Leeds belonging to the National Union of Journalists when Johnston Press decided to abandon the landmark headquarters of the Yorkshire Post, threatening both entire bound volumes of the paper and its invaluable library.

Some past papers are available — in major local libraries in towns and cities around the UK, but on microfilm. They have not been digitised and the only way to search them is to go to the libraries in towns where papers have been published. The cuttings libraries are a hidden, ‘insider’ resource that until now have only been available to journalists or a few local historians.


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