As they say in Hawaii, "Mo' Betta!"
There are essentially two primary considerations:
1. Paper, throughout the ages, has been manufactured using all kinds of fibrous material (wood pulp, cotton, silk, polymers, seaweed, tree bark, papyrus, sheepskin etc etc etc) by itself or combined with binders and limitless numbers of heaven knows what else, suspended in water or another liquid. Some of it, such as newsprint, is very unstable and in varying degrees will self-destruct over time - more so with modern newsprint.
Like everything else, there is GREAT paper, and there is l o u s y paper - but most normal books, pamphlets, magazines, photographs &c will hold up basically indefinitely providing acid-free storage, absence of critters, moisture barriers, low sunlight exposure and stuff like rusty staples and the occasional curious or artistic toddler.
2. Almost anything can be restored to look exactly or nearly as it did originally - including those rusty holes in your artifacts. However, it is usually rather expensive to have done.
> Example: I had a half inch ballpoint pen circle that someone had drawn around the face on an ancestor in a very old family photograph removed - it cost me $75, in 1983.
> Example: A colleague and I restored a 400-pound 8' x 5' x 2' painted ceramic Mexican Tree of Life (Arbol en la Vida) that had shattered in shipment to a museum. It took three weeks and cost $6,000, in 1990.
So, unless an artifact is of fairly major family, historical or monetary significance, then it is usually more prudent to take normal customary steps simply to preserve/stabilize artifacts, store things sensibly - and leave it at that.
Paper and other conservators come in all sorts of degrees of expertise and fees, of course. Most conservators are REALLY fussy, naturally, about what is and is not the proper thing to do in a given circumstance. They are, after all, scientists as well as artists. So, the more they do and the longer it takes, the more it costs.
Hopefully of some help...
Edited by Bluehawk, 14 April 2018 - 08:02 AM.