While the usage of newspapers might be dying out in today’s world of internet, they were probably the only source of information in the old days. And for that, they are still our only gateway to the wonders of history, hence preserving them is the top most priority for all the historians and librarians.
What better way to maintain an old newspaper than to make a digital copy of it? And that’s precisely what the University of Connecticut is looking to do, with their alien-like contraption which humidifies the brittle and creased old newspapers. The creation of this device is part of a project to conserve and revive 19th-century Chilean newspapers which documented the bloody war between Chile vs. a combined Peru and Bolivia.
The newspaper, if not treated in the odd looking machine, tears up even when trying to turn a page, making it almost impossible to read. The humidification device relaxes the pages, which are then, led to another Dexter’s Laboratory-resembling table for a series of follow-up techniques. The entire process takes about 15 minutes.
The table in the oddly soothing video above is electrostatically charged, which exerts an adjustable downward “pull,” taking out all the creases while allowing the jigsaw torn pages to be put back together before they are scanned.
In case, you are wondering why the librarian is not wearing any gloves while handling the all-important scriptures; it’s because using gloves remove valuable tactile feedback when working with intricate paper. In fact, you are more likely to tear paper with gloves than without them.
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