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Subject: Recycled paper

Recycled paper

From: Elizabeth Hadlow <conservator>
Date: Thursday, August 16, 2007
I work for a large government archive and am charged with the job of
advising government agencies on what types of paper to use when
creating records. Our current advice to agencies is that all records
required for retention periods of greater than 10 years should not
be created on recycled paper. The trouble is that government
agencies are being encouraged to use recycled paper wherever
possible--in fact for pretty much everything. The other trouble
appears to be that recycled papers are now beginning to comply with
ISO 9706 for Permanent Paper. In the eyes of many agencies this
weakens our argument not to use them, even though there is still
some question about the durability of recycled papers and their
consequent archival quality.

I am interested to hear what papers other archives are recommending
for the creation of records, and what retention periods are used as
a cut off for "permanent" records. In particular--do you think we
could allow the use of recycled paper for longer retention
periods--i.e change from less than 10 to less than 30 years?
Personally I think we could, but I'd like to get a more general
consensus prior to making any changes. And if a recycled paper
complies with ISO 9706--should this mean that it can be used for the
creation of permanently retained archives?

Elizabeth Hadlow
Senior Conservator
State Records NSW
Department of Commerce


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Received on Thursday, 16 August, 2007

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