03 September 2020
Restoring Old Newspapers
2020 is the year of the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. The National Library of the Komi Republic has a complex task of preserving historical chronicles in periodicals.
The library carefully stores newspapers of the war period: The Pravda, Krasnaya Zvezda, Vorledzys ("Forest worker"), To a New North, Gord Pechora ("Red Pechora") and many other central, republican and regional editions. They reflect each of the 1418 days of the war, capture the most tragic and heroic moments of the country's life. Often the old newspapers are the most reliable source in regionsl studies.
Gradually the paper for the newsprint from the 1940-s has dried up and has become fragile and brittle. The library practitioners work on the restoration of newspapers that were published in 1941-1945 on the territory of the Komi Republic.
Restorer of rare and valuable editions Elena Turkina describes the "medical" procedure of repairing the newspapers:
“This work is long and painstaking. First, we need to split the binder into sheets. We need to carefully separate the protective endpaper from the newspaper block, remove the black threads with which it was sewn. After that, we can start the restoration of newspaper sheets: we will clean them from the dirt accumulated over decades of use with distilled water, then seal all the gaps with restoration paper, and strengthen the edges of the sheet. Creases in the corners of newspaper pages, which usually accumulate the most dust and dirt, will be ironed out with a special restoration iron. And only after that we will begin to sew the newspapers together. No matter how much we would like to leave the binders in an authentic form (the covers of the newspapers were made in the 1940s), for the purpose of their better preservation, all the newspapers will receive a new binding from acid-free cardboard. It takes at least a month to restore each newspaper binder and make a new binding. ”
Due to the restoration, the life of these unique documents is prolonged for decades. This means that the next generation of readers will be able to read authentic old periodicals.