Scrapbooks are valuable for more than their clippings. The order in which the scrapbook makers arranged their clippings 
tells us a great deal about how they read, and what they made of their reading. In reading hundreds of mostly nineteenth-century 
scrapbooks around the country, I found African Americans speaking back to the racist press in their scrapbooks, women's rights activists working on 
their public personas, parents grieving their children who died in the Civil War, and the many ways that scrapbooks echoed the 
practices of newspapers, and worked in ways that are similar to our social media, like blogging. New York State scrapbook makers 
like women's rights activists Lillie Devereux Blake, Matilda Joselyn Gage, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 
Harlem Renaissance saloniste L.S. Alexander Gumby, and scrapbook innovator (and part time NYS resident) Mark Twain feature prominently in my book,
Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance (Oxford UP, 2013). 
   As for making scrapbooks out of current newspapers, it does seem that digital collecting has displaced that. Even by the 1910s and 20s, 
many institutions that had previously kept scrapbooks were moving on to relying on clipping services, and housing the clippings in that more
flexible new invention, the vertical file. What was lost is the record of how people arranged the items they wanted to save, and the 
articulate stories those arrangements tell us. 

Ellen Gruber Garvey, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of English, New Jersey City University

Author, Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance
Visit the Scrapbook History website

Post, Paul. "Spa City native to donate decades-old scrapbook to New York State Military Museum." The Saratogian. October 10, 2013. Excellent! Preserving old scrapbooks is, I think, fairly worthwhile. Old scrapbooks assembled by movie fans of pictures and articles about their favorite stars, might include images and information about lost films (the vast majority of silent films are lost) and there's other potential uses for such things like examining the growth of the star system and film fandom. Scrapbooks of newspaper verse might have poems that would be very hard (on occasion, perhaps impossible) to find otherwise. My research into Alfred Hitchcock's pre-directorial film career and into H.C. Dodge's poetry has benefitted a little from scrapbooks. Very early newspaper clippings could be the only surviving content from early newspapers that weren't otherwise preserved. Perhaps similarly: in doing types of research that rely largely on newspapers I sometimes end up assembling something like a digital scrapbook of transcriptions of old articles and news items, e.g.: * Troy cemeteries * Lansingburgh cemeteries Those are to some extent notes for myself for writing on the topic, though I might self-publish the older content to provide copies in print to the Troy Libary and make it available for others who might want a print copy for whatever reason. (Who knows how long Google Docs or PDFs will be around.) Any opinions about historians creating entirely *new* scrapbooks - clipping *current* printed newspapers and putting them into a new physical scrapbook, a somewhat different matter? With current newspapers generally having digital searchable content already or content that's easily digitized if they're not already online or in a database, I'm not sure I see any reason for such a scrapbook but would be curious to know if others see benefits to it? One could assemble a bibliography about topic X rather than a scrapbook, unless the scrapbook is not the end goal in itself but in effect notes en route to a future text making use of the articles - that I certainly understand. Newspapers are gatekeepers - hopefully responsible ones, but relying on their idea of what's newsworthy or potentially historic could lead one astray if one relied upon it to too great a degree to the exclusion of other sources. I think recording oral histories, for example, would be more worthwhile than clipping current newspapers. Likewise, relying on a scrapbooker to have been thorough could be a pitfall - they could easily have missed other relevant material. Aside from which: I enjoy - at least initially - seeing articles in their original context. Entirely unrelated articles could prove to have something compelling enough to form a future topic of research. Christopher Korey Philippo --- "Now, a few words on looking for things. When you go looking for something specific, your chances of finding it are very bad. Because of all the things in the world, you're only looking for one of them. When you go looking for anything at all, your chances of finding it are very good. Because of all the things in the world, you're sure to find some of them." - Daryl Zero (Bill Pullman) in Jake Kasdan's Zero Effect (1998) --- "For those who stay curious, there are always new frontiers." - Jello Biafra