Saving Newspaper Articles - advice welcome

Maura63February 22, 2007

My DD plays for a HS team which has been getting some press in the local papers lately. Some articles can be found online which I am saving electronically in a Word folder. But I decided to buy the actual print versions and clip the articles. I have a "general" binder where I store stuff like school achievements, report cards, programs, this sort of memorabilia, in page protectors.

Aside from scrapbooking (which, conceptually, I love - but realistically this is a "project" that would never get done), what are some other options for saving newspaper articles? Some of them are way longer than the binder (i.e. printed in a column from the top to the bottom of the newspaper). Should I just store all of the articles together in one page protector? Should I dedicate a page protector to each article or two? Should I at least mount the article on a piece of paper and then protect it?

Sometimes I don't get the actual newspapers. Should I print off what I find online and add these to the binder too?

For those of you who clip newspaper articles, or have stuff to save from your child's HS sports career, how do you store this type of stuff?



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OK, here goes my rant about "scrapbooking"

I hate it. It just annoys me. Talk about "make work." And talk about subverting the original intent of a scrapbook (to provide a record of actual happenings and actual people) into narcicissms (everybody admire all the work and creativity *I* put into it, instead of noticing all the stuff that MATTERS). I feel that scrapbooking as it's practiced today is all about the craft and effort of the maker, and NOT AT ALL about the memories or events that are supposed t be preserved in the scrapbook.

Once upon a time, the "scraps" in the book were scraps of someone's actual LIFE. The matchbook from that great restaurant they ate at; ticket stubs from a concert they went to; clippings of an article they wrote; newsstories about the team they played on.

Now the "scraps" are embellishments printed by a manufacturer and selected and glued in place by the person who's making the scrapbook (usually for someone else, not for themselves). The scrapbook maker spends her energy picking background paper, and little labels, and buying tools to put "Sweets dimensional two-sided embellishments" onto their pages w/ a grommet tool and a craft punch. And the VIEW spends her energy admiring the background paper and the dimensional two-sided embellishments. And almost NONE of the energy goes into gathering the evidence of someone's LIFE. Half or more of the page is someone's creativity, not someone's life. It's narcicisstic.

Now that I've said my politically incorrect criticism of scrapbooking (and probably hurt the feelings of all the folks who love to do scrapbooking, and who admire others' efforts in the field....I'm going to surprise you.

Use a scrapbook.

Just stick the articles in there, using an archival glue stick or something. DON'T ADD ANYTHING ELSE, unless maybe it's a picture she took w/ her cell phone camera after the big game, or something. Or a notice from the school about an awards ceremony. Or maybe you have DD write a paragraph on the page next to the news story telling some personal detail about it ("we had a LONG bus trip to this school, and that's the bus ride when Sally got us singing "99 Bottles of Beer" and Joanna put her gym bag over Sally's head to shut her up. And a personal best for me--9 for 9 on free throws!"

Newspaper has a high acid content--if you want to keep the stuff for very long, ask at a scrapbooking place for a spray that will help neutralize it, so the newsprint won't get so brittle so fast.

Organize them in some space-efficient way that still seems logical to you.
Chronological is good. Putting the big article, w/ photos, about the big game on its own page seems sensible (it was a high point, so give it a little "presence"). As many articles as will fit on a page as you can, leaving space for a little writing, and keeping it from looking crowded, would probably be good. If you end up w/ some big blank places, oh well.

Don't overthink it. Just get them in the book. That in itself is lightyears further than most people ever get.

And ask your DD, how much of this does she want to keep? When does she think she'd look at it?

I used to think I wouldn't want any of it, but then I found a stash of stuff like that stored in a folder, and it was interesting, to look through it and remember some of the activities I'd completely forgotten! I was in my late 30s, and I'd completely forgotten some of the stuff I did in HS, and was glad to be reminded of it. I felt much more 3-dimensional. So, take what she says w/ a grain of salt--some kids want to hold onto everything but maybe shouldn't, and some think they won't want it later, when they might.

I think books are easier to page through, and more likely to get reviewed now and then, than stacks or piles or folders are.

That's why I love scrapbooking--the OLD-FASHIONED way. In which you just stick stuff in a scrapbook, and don't spend any time (or money) or conceit on anything except preserving the documentation (writing the name of the newspaper, the date; maybe a heading or two).

And yes, I'd print off EVERYTHING. Digital records are actually very vulnerable and nearly worthless, as mementoes. Who stops to flip through a CD of saved Web pages?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 10:23AM
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here's a tip on neutralizing the acid in newspapers

"There is a product called Archival Mist. And a newer one by Krylon called "Make It Acid Free", found at paint stores. Most scrapbookers swear by these sprays, but they can be an expensive option"

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 10:30AM
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:::clapping hands:::
Bravo, Talley Sue!

I feel the same way, but I lack the where-with-all to state it so eloquently.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 12:37PM
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I don't post often, but.....

Talley Sue, that is exactly how I feel! Hooray!

DD came home from junior year in Europe and had lots of photos and mementos. I have an acquaintence who "scrapbooks" and sells the crappola, and I thought I'd buy a photo album from her. Boy, was I a babe in the woods! They wanted $75 for a PHOTO ALBUM! And just as you said, I had to spend an hour looking at her baby's album, as she noted the embellishments. What a waste of time.

DD has now filled 2 albums with pictures, ticket stubs, and other cool things. One album cost me $75 and the other was about $13. Not one bit of schmaltzy embellishment to be seen on those pages. Just smiles in Europe.

Talley Sue, your response was perfect!

Maura, enjoy and cherish your son's accomplishments!


    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 1:36PM
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I wrote "I was in my late 30s, and I'd completely forgotten some of the stuff I did in HS, and was glad to be reminded of it. I felt much more 3-dimensional. "

I want to stress this again, mostly because it surprised me. And I think I'm going to be a better mother because I remembered those things about my own life, and what I did, and what I was interested in.

I'd forgotten all the dimensions there were to my life, and the people I'd known, and how proud I'd been of this sort of do-nothing honorary committee I was selected for.

I wish I *HAD* used a scrapbook when I was a kid (it would be garbage by know, bcs the ones available to me were newsprint, and cheap cheap cheap). But I wish I had just started a scrapbook at the beginnign of every year, and just stuck stuff into it as I went along.

I know that people who "scrapbook" in the modern way enjoy what they do, and are proud of the end result. I just wish it didn't masquerade as some emotional memento that other people are supposed to cherish, and could simply be a craft they do because they like it. Of course, unlike a quilt, it's not that useful, so attaching this craft to "memories" is a good way for marketers to "sell" it, and for the folks who do it to feel that they're not wasting their time.

(don't tell anyone, but I've decided that almost all crafts are wasting your time; as long as you enjoy the PROCESS of wasting your time, that's great, and I think there's some value in it. But I get weary when others are expected to value the end results to a degree beyond what I think is reasonable. Great, you've knitted another afghan; but who really needs it? It must be hard on knitters, and embroiderers, and everyone, to want to do these things, and to produce tangible end results, and not to have them valued. But boy do I hope they don't try to give them to me!)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 6:27PM
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I toss everything I might want to save into a box, one for each girl, and then I use 3-ring binders with sheet protectors for stuff I've saved about my kids. So far, I have found that a large % of the things I have saved, from toddler to HS, actually are 8 x 11 papers, or if smaller I paste several things on a sheet of copy paper (white or colored)--use both sides. Also you can put two items back-to back in one sheet protector or file a 3-page award-winning essay that way. I do include some photos just by pasting, or can add a 3-ring photo file sheet here and there, but these "albums" have a different purpose from our family photo albums and instead are collections of funny school papers, awards, drawings, etc. with a few select photos that go along (even if they duplicate what's in the photo album as well). I'm a big saver of stuff that they have written at various ages (I sneak some things out of the trash, as in discarded spiral notebooks at the end of the year) because it gives such a neat window into their ages and interests. These are very simple and will not win any scrapbooking awards, but it's not so daunting to sit down with a box, weed through and save the favorites or must-haves, and then "file" a stack of items in sheet protectors. You can re-arrange the order later if you've left something out, too, or if you only want to work on a few at a time, or if you have collected too much of one type of thing and want to weed some out later.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2007 at 6:42PM
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You can also photocopy newspaper onto acid free lignin free paper or laminate the article.

I scrapbook, but I also agree with Talley Sue. I buy the basic papers and do it my own way. Moving parts and fold out pages never worked for me. I want my kids to have something usuable with names and dates when I'm gone. I also use 3 ring binders with page protectors for my child's work that I want saved. If he wants it when he's older, it'll be there. If he doesn't, I didn't spend a lot of money.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 10:12AM
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For the OP question--I would pitch the thing. Chances are someone kept the paper because of something which happended on that day. You could look up and see if that day was important in some way, but chances are the newspaper has archives.

Talley, Enquiring minds want to know--how do you spend that down time? You know, the time you are sitting at the kid's lessons, those 10 min. while you are waiting for the pasta water to boil? We have a regular coffee klatch going while waiting for the kids to practice Irish Dance. Everyone brings some type of handywork and it creates ways to develop friendships. The mom who sits in the corner punching her PDA makes it pretty clear she's not interested in getting to know us. Her loss.

I think most everything could be viewed as a waste of time. I doubt if any of us are out there saving the world, so I don't see any difference between reading a book or making an afghan. I'd rather someone give me an afghan than curl up with some blanket purchased at a store. I believe there are many of us who DO value the skill needed to create things.

I'm a lousy knitter myself, so I really appreciate someone who can actually put together a sweater. My house is full of crafted items, from pillows to pillowcases, tea towels and rugs, clothing and pottery. All kinds of craft items from many different people. When you walk in my house, you know I didn't just open a pottery barn catalog and order stuff.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 1:24PM
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OP here....Gloria, I wasn't asking about pitching anything (????)

Thanks, everyone for your tips, especially about preserving the actual newsprint. I think, at this point, I will continue to store this type of stuff in a binder with page protectors, with the added protection of the neutralizing products.

Talley Sue, I too, recently came upon a small box of "stuff" from my childhood/HS years. I was sure my mother had ditched it after I left for college. It was great to look through it again, and it maybe even binder-worthy, albeit a small one, LOL. Now, in my 40s, as I watch my own teens grow, I do wish I had more tangible memorabilia (that would fit nicely into a binder or two). Perhaps that is why I am eager to save some of these types of things for my two children.

As to the secondary theme that developed here...I am definitely envious of those who have creative hobbies, and I cherish the one-of-a-kind items given to me (luckily not too many). And part of me would like to have that one creative passion - I hear it reduces stress, and brings a common thread (no pun intended) to many circles of friends. When I was single I cross-stitched and taught elementary school and played piano, all offering creative outlets. I still have the Christmas stockings I made for DH and myself the first year we were married, along side the two cross-stitched ones my mother made for our children. But after the kids came along, those creative pursuits were set aside. I know that life is about "balance" and I have vivid memories of my mother crocheting and cross-stitching early in the morning and before bed while watching TV, while raising 5 kids and working out of the home. But that was in a different era in a different type of neighborhood. (My kids' memories of me will be sitting at the computer or driving them to various activities - signs of the times, perhaps.) Maybe I need to build in time to reconnect with my inner creativity, but there always seems to be something more pressing and would not be able to sit still.

While kids are at lessons, practice, etc. it is often a "carpool" situation with a one-way drop before off and running to the grocery store or cleaners. If I happen to be "stuck" there (i.e. no nearby errand to run) sometimes I just take a deep breath and decompress, sometimes I flip through a magazine, or return a call. And sometimes I'm the one sitting in the corner with my PDA in hand wishing the knitters nearby would invite me to join them.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 3:11PM
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Sorry, Maura, I should have re-read your OP. Newspapers are my hot button like crafts appear to be Talley's. My mom saved lots of newspaper of important world events. I moved to Alaska in '91 and she started sending me newspaper articles on the earthquake which happened up here in the 60's. There is already so much documentation on that, articles from the KC Star aren't needed, so I threw them away. Somehow, I saved the ones where I was in the article. I guess I knew even then, that the ones I wanted would just get mixed up with all of the others.

Next time you're sitting next to the knitters, put away the PDA and start talking with them. Ask if you brought your yarn the next week if someone would show you a new stitch. Sitting and doing something like the PDA sends a clear message of "don't talk to me." At least it does for most of us.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 3:43PM
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Talley isn't anti-crafting... At least, I do not see where she says that at all!

She's anti-fancy-scrapbooking... as am I!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 5:39PM
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Hey, everyone,

I've mostly browsed and posted on the laundry forum (just built a new laundry room) but I'm starting to work on getting my home more organized. I just wanted to say I found this entire discussion completely fascinating!

Such a wide range of viewpoints on the subject at hand, and I found something of value in all of it. You are all so articulate in your expressions. In my youth, I kept diaries. I burned them all in my twenties, because I was afraid someone would find and read them, and I wasn't proud of some of the thoughts I'd recorded in them. I also thought my junior and senior pictures made me look dorky, and got rid of my class yearbooks as well. Now that I'm approaching the big five oh (OMG, half a century) I am almost sorry I can't re-read those diaries now (and perhaps burn them now as a celebration of who I am now, instead of the way I did it then and why :)).

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 7:04PM
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Talley, Enquiring minds want to know--how do you spend that down time? You know, the time you are sitting at the kid's lessons, those 10 min. while you are waiting for the pasta water to boil? We have a regular coffee klatch going while waiting for the kids to practice Irish Dance. Everyone brings some type of handywork and it creates ways to develop friendships. The mom who sits in the corner punching her PDA makes it pretty clear she's not interested in getting to know us. Her loss.

I'm not there. I'm at work.

And I don't have a PDA, cell phone, etc.

If I *am* there, I just talk to people, or I watch the kids. I don't DO anything. I sit there an enjoy the down time, and listen, and talk. Believe me, nobody gets a message from me that says I don't care.

I sometimes bring a book, but if there are people there, I don't read it.

I'm not even the one waiting for the pasta water to boil, LOL! (If I am, I'm cutting up veggies while I wait.)

I'm not anti-crafting. I just see so much of it as creating something that will turn into "clutter" quite rapidly. And so I have a huge caution about it.

Scrapbooking in particular sets off my alarm bells--and really less because of the clutter factor, and more because I think there's a sublimation of the important stuff--the memories--to the unimportant stuff, the embellishments and creativity of the creator.

And while I admire the skill of crocheters and knitters and embroiderers, etc., very few of them produce anything I would want in my home. It's mostly too ornamental, and not practical enough.

Or it reflects THEIR tastes, and not mine. (The days of my grandma embroidering a book on a pillowcase because *I* like to read are over.) And sometimes it reflects what they *THINK* my tastes and interests are, which only makes me sad to realize how little they really know about me (yes, I collect penguins, but that doesnt mean I want a penguin pillowcase). Which is why I keep my fingers crossed that no one will give stuff like that to me.

I'm also tired, I confess, of having my home NOT reflect me. I want stuff *I* picked out.

I don't even want to have to display stuff my KIDS made me anymore. I want a streamlined life, that pleases MY eyes, and seven pieces of lumpy kid pottery are seven pieces more than I want in my living room. And an afghan that's wonderful to sleep under, but misshapen and pieced together isn't what I want on my bed, even if Nona Rosa DID make it. (I'm sad about that particular one, bcs if she hadn't pieced it together to get it the right size, I'd use it daily instead of keeping it for a spare, bcs it's so warm, and because she DID make it for me.)

As Maura said: "I cherish the one-of-a-kind items given to me (luckily not too many)."

I *do* crafty stuff. I just spent the last week 1) making a dragon piñata, complete w/ pipe cleaner/tissue paper wings, plus papier-mâché head & tail; 2) finding a dragon picture to reproduce on the top of a cake; 3) making shields for all the "young knights of the realm" to decorate; 4) figuring out how to have jousting in the church fellowship hall.

I steer all my creative impulses into birthdays and holidays, so that I can use up the stuff I've created.

I go way overboard for Halloween costumes, spending several lunch hours scouting fabric, and discussing how to recreate Link from the Zelda video game, etc., with my kids, and with my colleagues.

Also, if the act of knitting, and the creative work of picking a yarn, and a pattern, make you happier, then your craft is NOT a waste of time. But *I* don't want to have to speak in hushed tones, and treat your end product as though somehow it must be more valuable to me simply because you made it. Somebody designed and made that Pottery Barn afghan too--and it's prettier, and more to my taste!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 12:22PM
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Last year I started photo scrapbooks with a bunch of photos I had for years.

I divided them up into each son, the cats and dogs, relatives, me, my decor around he different places I lived etc.

I had so much scrapbook paper left from doing card making that I decided to use it up. I got regular clear top loading dividers and just glued two or three pictures on each page and slipped itinto a protector and did one for the back side too.

I got quite a few into the books that way. I had some napkins from a first birthday and put that in too and anything wlse etc.

No whoever wants them can have them. Not that fancy but at least out of the boxes (some of the boxes)

I admire some of the work that today's scrapbookerss do. I think it is a very nice creative challenge for a lot of them and wouldn't deride them for doing it. It is nice if you have a big family base and people who are interested in that sort of thing.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 10:07PM
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When I was a child, my parents were avid golfers and participated in local tournaments. They saved numerous newspaper articles about the events, and they were tucked away with our family photos. A couple of years ago, I went through and put all the photos in albums to make them easier for my mom to look at. I decided to put all the golfing newspaper clippings, as well as family obituaries, in a separate album. The album had clear pocket pages that were archival quality, and I applied the newspaper articles to acid-free paper with clear photo corners and placed them inside the pocket pages. No elaboration or embellishment was needed. The stories told themselves. I really had a blast rereading the articles -- some of those tournaments were real sagas of competition and rivalry and just good old-fashioned fun. My mom (at 87) was so pleased to look at them and reminisce, and I was glad she had gone to the trouble to save them all those years ago.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 12:17AM
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Tally, thanks for the comments about handcrafts. I have apparently got lots of friends and relatives that crocheted afghans, embroidered tea towels,crocheted table cloths and have done bunka embroidered pictures. I have felt guilty throwing them out. The afghans are not tightly stitched or soft so they really have no purpose I can think of. Everyone who did the stuff is dead so I guess I can get rid of it without hurting anyone's feelings. I had the courage to throw out all of the trophies.
Mercifully I missed getting the scrapbook gifts.
I enjoy painting water colors so I like having space instead of these "crafts". I guess its time to donate these treasures.
The original question was how to keep the newspaper articles. I have some that are 40 years old and they seem to have held up pretty well. I just stuck them between pages of sketch books. Its nice to see photos & articles of yourself/ sisters,family etc. from childhood. We always sent stuff in to the newspapers, so we were published a lot.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 7:46PM
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one thing about 40-year-old newsprint--it is NOT the same animal.

Just like construction paper, Xerox-paper boxes, and toasters, it is less sturdily made.

Today's newsprint is MUCH thinner, and probably has a higher acid content.

So don't assume that bcs the old newspapers are holding up well despite not having been cared for particularly, that the clips from today's papers will do so as well.

Keeping them away from light and air will slow down their decay (being stuck between the pages of sketch books was a help, I bet), of course.

And not needing to UNFOLD them will make them more durable, too, so as you preserve the clips of your daughter's activities, you might pay some special attention to fixing it so nobody needs to unfold them in order to look at them in years to come.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2007 at 9:08AM
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I have to agree with Talley Sue; contemporary crafting has an inauthentic feel to it. It seems like yet another way bored people fill up empty lives. It also bugs me that the stores that used to sell nothing but fabric are now half or more devoted to crafts. I have done my share of handicraft work, but the pre-packaged stuff gives me the creeps.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 7:26PM
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Wow, that really stings. I don't believe I'm bored and just trying to fill up my life. If someone doesn't like that I do crafts, I can appreciate that they aren't interested, but I certainly don't see where the judgemental part comes in.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 2:32AM
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I mentally divide these things into "crafting" and "handiwork"--to me, knitting, embroidery, crochet, sewing, carving, are handiwork. These can be used to produce truly useful and truly beautiful things.

Making refrigerator magnets is "crafting." Buying precut wooden shapes and painting them is "crafting." Gluing ribbon trim to wooden stands to make placecard holders (at the church ladies' group) is "crafting."

Most of that sort of "crafting" I tend to regard with suspicion--it just doesn't seem to add much to the world once it's done--most of the time--and it uses up the resources (time & money) of the person who made it, with very limited return (their own enjoyment, mostly). And it creates clutter, in all honesty. Clutter that then becomes hard to get rid of, bcs someone spent so much time on it. I would never disparage their work to someone's face, but I sure try to keep it at arm's length--both the doing of it, and the receiving of the end result.

I don't think I'd go so far as to say that people who paint those precut wooden shapes that Michael's sells, have empty lives they're trying to fill up, but I also can't get too admiring of their end product.

And of course, things fall on the spectrum in between.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2007 at 10:08AM
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