TC433: All the news that’s fit to catalogue

Sometimes we open Time Capsules that contain only newspapers and clippings.  These newspaper Time Capsules can sometimes contain headlines and source materials for Andy Warhol’s artworks.  In addition to having served as a source of inspiration for Warhol, our newspaper Time Capsules help to illuminate our understanding of New York political and entertainment culture in the 1970s and 1980s, setting a context for the times and places of many of our other TC materials.

Newspapers are generally printed on lower-quality paper that contains wood pulp, which causes the paper to be naturally acidic.  Wood pulp is born acidic, and this acidic nature causes the newsprint to become brittle over time.  To this end, we take several preservation measures to protect these valuable serials and their intellectual content.  We take special care to build acid-free folders of appropriate sizes in which to house the newspapers.  Remembering always that our materials must return to their Time Capsule, these folders will add additional support when they are stacked inside the box.  As our newspapers are always at risk for becoming increasingly more brittle, each newspaper is interleaved with acid free paper in an attempt to improve the stability of the papers.  To absorb additional acids, several sheets of MicroChamber paper are tucked within folders and the box itself.

To number, catalogue and preserve TC433, which contains 11 Daily News, 37 New York Posts, 1 Village Voice and 14 New York Post covers, 10 16 x 20 inch folders, 104 sheets of acid-free legal paper, 3 pairs of blue Nitrile gloves and 5 sheets of MicroChamber paper were used.  The headlines chronicle events both significant and trivial—TC433 contains headlines spanning the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, the hijacking of EgyptAir Flight 648, the death of Rock Hudson and the happy return of a beloved West Highland terrior named Mandy to her family.  We may never know exactly why Warhol stashed so many serials within TCs, but we can at least know they’re appropriately cared for.

Elaina Vitale

Warhol Time Capsules Project cataloger