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How long can a newspaper be stored before it disintegrates? © Getty Images

How long can a newspaper be stored before it disintegrates?

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Ever seen a newspaper from the year you were born? Or perhaps even before that? If so, you may have asked yourself exactly how long do they last?

Asked by: Jamie Watts, Poole
It’s too early to say. There are still a few surviving copies of the first newspaper printed in Britain, and those date from 1665. The British Newspaper Archive actually has most editions of every newspaper published in the UK since 1800. Provided it is kept in a dark, dry place, paper is extremely durable. The oldest surviving piece of paper was discovered in Wuwei in China. It was made around 150AD, which is only 45 years after paper itself was invented! Modern newspaper archives are digitised now as well, but the paper copies will last for a while yet.


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luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


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