Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Since I write and publish a lot of articles for newspapers(38 last month, 16 already this month and it's only the 7th!), I collect a lot of paper.

I have been doing this off and on since 1985, so as you can imagine this adds up to more than a bit of paper. It is A LOT of paper.

For a long time I collected the papers and plopped them in boxes, the entire edition. Recently I went through about 10 years worth and cut out only the articles I wrote and tossed the rest of the pages.

This cut three storage boxes down to one. But the articles are just tossed into a large plastic storage box and aren't in any order. And of course having cut them out, they are oddly shaped and won't fit into a notebook or anything.

I have plans for some of the items. My columns, for instance, I hope to type back up and eventually create a book to give to family. Once that's done I can throw away the originals, I suppose, although I would like to keep them someway.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to manage such a volume of papers?


  1. Scan them to PDFs, then recycle the newsprint. I do it for people all the time... it's a good bit of my income!

    One side benefit - if you have all the articles in PDF format, you'll be all set to go when you get ready to publish your book!

  2. I've got boxes of clippings, too. When I go through them, I find the rest of the paper more interesting than what I wrote. I figure some historical society in a hundred years will enjoy going through them.

    For now, I figure those boxes in the attic act like extra insulation.

  3. I love the thought of it being extra insulation! My fatherinlaw was a journalist for the Wall St Journal for over 30 yrs and in journalism for his highschool, college and military days of WWII. When me moved into his home to care for him his last days we spent many hours looking over his writings, and even now occasionally dig through papers. If you have room to store, I think it is kind of cool to have all that info, I even appreciate seeing the different fonts, the quality of the paper, the ads, etc. Rubbermaid boxes are certainly low tech, but good for shoving in attics and keeping things out of weather, rodents etc. They are pretty cheap, too!

  4. My thought is the same as Ron's - scan to PDF.

  5. I would scan to PDF if I had that many.

    I don't, so I clip each article to put it away in a plastic sleeve, in a three-ring binder.

  6. No sorry - I totally lack any organisational skills but am very impressed that you manage so well!

  7. There's nothing the same as a hard copy clipping. I had to laugh at this because I only write about 4-5 stories a month for our local paper and that keeps me busy enough! You are very prolific. Do you work for the paper or freelance?

  8. Ron & June - .pdfs are a good idea, aside from how time-intensive that would be. Besides, the newspapers are on microfilm in Richmond...

    Like others have said, there is nothing quite like a hard copy of your own work.

    Colleen - I have a unique situation with the newspaper. I freelance in that I am paid by the article but I have a regular beat like a staff reporter. Someone called it "perma-lancing" which probably describes it well.

    Ginger - how wonderful that you have your father's old writings to go through. I think that is great.


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