Newspapers as a part of a library's stock are characterized above all by their large size, difficulties of handling and storage, the preservation problems created by cheap, wood-pulp based paper, and their immense popularity as research material. The sight of vast, decaying volumes in inadequate storage, impossible to clean; of fragments of brown paper on the floor; and of libraries struggling to cope with demand and the rate of growth of the current stock, are only too familiar. Since the growth of interest in local history and the expansion of academic research in the 1960s, newspapers have been a heavily-used source of information, covering as they do all subject fields, and providing a record of the ordinary life of communities which speaks more directly to the future researcher than any other original source material. They are used by a public which is wider than that for any other source material, for interests ranging from local history to sport, fashion, theatre, hobbies and puzzles. Whether in a public library with a collection of local newspapers or an academic library with an international research collection, they attract an enthusiasm from their users that is not often found, and heavy use compounds the problems of handling, exploiting and preserving this invaluable part of our heritage. In professional terms, newspapers have attracted lively interest in recent years.