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News That's Fit to Print—and Preserve

How long can libraries hold on to their newspaper collections?

The daily news has been described as the first draft of history. From the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to the cloning of Dolly the sheep, newspapers record the myriad events that shape our lives. Preserving old newspapers, many would argue, is tantamount to preserving our heritage. Newsprint companies, however, take the position that yesterday's news is old news, and follow the eminently sound business practice of using the cheapest grade of paper that does the job. Today's thin gray news stock, which is just strong enough to pass through the high-speed printing machines without tearing, is an archivist's nightmare.

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