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Help For Yellowing Newspapers In Revised Brown Budget Proposal

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

The California State Library has thousands of old newspapers dating back to 1846.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

The 1846 issues of the Daily Alta California are twice as big as today's newspapers. Bound volumes in dark olive covers take up several large shelving units in the California State Library’s basement. Some have a sticky note on the outside cover that says CNP, which stands for California Newspaper Project.

More than 19 million articles from newspapers all over the state have been digitized so far. Gov. Jerry Brown's revised budget proposal includes $430,000 to continue the project, in addition to $663,000 to restore damaged books, purchase supplies and buy a new vault.

According to library spokesperson Alex Vassar, the old vault isn't very big.

"It's definitely getting full of materials. There are pictures, lithographs, books, maps: It's full. So, having a little additional room will definitely help to keep more items in our collection safe," he said.

The library is also responsible for copying and saving information from state websites four times a year.

"Keeping them in a climate-controlled environment is important to maintain their long-term life. In addition to that, a lot of the newspapers have been digitized and are now available through the University of California at Riverside's website," Vassar said.

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