January 18, 2022

Conference Paper: “Preserving Newspaper at the University of Hawai’i Mānoa Library”

The following paper will be presented at the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations ) WLIC 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the end of August.


Preserving Newspaper at the University of Hawai’i Mānoa Library


Kazuko Hioki
University of Hawai’i Mānoa




In Hawaii, the first newspaper was published in 1834. Until 2000, approximately 1,350 titled newspapers have been published. The University of Hawai’i Mānoa (UHM) Library collects 19th and 20th century newspapers published in Hawaii and also selected titles from the pacific islands. Geographical location and tropical climate pose serious challenges for preserving the newspaper collections. To ensure their long-term preservation, the Library’s Preservation Department strategically applies the following preventive measures.

1. Microfilm reformatting
Their poor-quality paper and limited storage space necessitate microfilming the current newspapers. Although more institutions chose digitization for reformatting, the UHM Library believes microfilm is the best option, mainly due to our lack of the infrastructure needed to maintain the digital collection. Our strategy is to ensure the highest quality of microfilms for future conversion to digital format.

2. Environmental control and monitoring
Although the Library building’s centralized environmental control system runs for 24 hours and 365 days, temperature and relative humidity is a less-than-perfect, fluctuating at various parts of the building. Our strategy is to systematically monitor environmental conditions to mitigate disaster such as mold outbreak and to identify better controlled spaces to keep the most important historical newspapers. Also we store microfilm master copies in a better controlled environment at a contracted facility on the mainland.

3. Freeze extermination program
Mold and pest-infested library materials are treated by freezing instead of using pesticides. More importantly, the freezing method is applied not only to remedy infestation but to prevent it by establishing control over incoming collections. Any second-hand materials and donations are frozen in a large walk-in industrial freezer before being introduced to the library collections. The Department’s PEST team, consisting of student assistants and a supervisor, performs the freezing procedure daily. The team also routinely monitors pest activities using sticky traps.

Direct to Full Text Paper
 9 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.