The Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 5, Number 2
May 1992


Literature

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The first issue of Logos, The Professional Journal for the Book World, came out in 1990 and carried a dreadfully inaccurate article on permanent paper by an English book designer named John Trevitt. According to him, alkaline paper has a pH above 7.5, "acid-free" means "lignin-free," "acid-free" can be taken as synonymous with "permanent," china clay is acidic, alum is an alkaline compound, and so on. But his heart is in the right place. He is in favor of acid-free paper. He reports that STM, the international group of scientific, technical and medical publishers, adopted a resolution in 1989 urging its members "to use wherever possible acid-free papers... and to note in all publications (books and journals) that acid-free paper is being used." He also says that an "Acid-Free Forum" was organized in London in December 1989 by the Publishers Association, with speakers from paper mills and merchants as well as printers, publishers and librarians.

Logos is available in the U.S. from Whurr Publishers, Thomas Slatner & Co., 401 Baldwin Ave., Jersey City, NJ 07306 (From the February Abbey Newsletter)

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Recycled Printing & Writing Papers: Products & Manufacturers, Winter 1992 edition, lists 56 mills and 300 brand names divided into 11 grades of printing and writing papers. The amount of deinked and/or postconsumer waste is given for each brand name. Available from CERMA (Center for Earth Resource Management Applications), 5528 Hempstead Way, Springfield, VA 22151 (703/750-1158) for $25. Four quarterly updates/year cost $80.

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"Recycled Paper and Sludge: Is Recycling Hurting the Environment?" Recycled Paper News 2 #5, Jan. 1992, p. 1-4. There is concern among consumers about the heavy metals, PCBs and dioxin in deinking sludge, and among papermakers, who find the sludge hard to dispose of. Still, municipal sludge contains a larger proportion of heavy metals than deinking sludge. Companies are springing up to offer recovery, reuse and composting methods for deinking sludge. The conclusion is that there are pros and cons, but on balance, it still makes sense to recycle.

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Recycled Papers, The Essential Guide, by Claudia G. Thompson. MIT Press, 55 Hayward St., Cambridge, MA 02142 .(800/356-0343). 1992. 200 pp. Paperback $25, hardcover $40, + $2.50 postage in North America. This attractive book was produced as part of the Recycled Paper Project of the Boston chapter of the AIGA, and was funded from grants and donations, to provide information to people who make and read books, to help them make environmentally responsible decisions. Sections are headed:

The Challenge
A Brief History of Papermaking
How Recycled Papers are Made
Definitions and Standards
The Characteristics of Recycled Paper The Designer's Legacy: Closing the Loop

Five appendices cover terminology, pulping and papermaking processes, bibliographic references, recycled papers available, and a "designer impact analysis form." There is a two-page section on permanence of recycled paper, and the wide left-hand margins contain numerous footnotes, bibliographic and otherwise, printed in dark blue-green. The colophon sets some kind of a record for detail. It tells the reader not only who printed it, with what fonts, and on what kind of paper with what pH and recycled content, but what kind of inks were used, the software used for each process, how many pounds of office paper were used to prepare the book for printing, how many pounds of printing paper were used for press proofs, and much more.

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Libraries and archives in several countries have been systematically surveyed to determine the condition of the paper in books and records, in order to plan major programs of microfilming and deacidification. In every country so far but the Netherlands and Sweden, a correlation has been found between pH and strength, which confirms the results of most permanence research since 1926, when acidity was first identified as a factor in deterioration.

The survey reports for the Netherlands have been published. The results of an archives survey are presented in "The Eindhoven Variant: A Method to Survey the Deterioration of Archival Collections," by H.J.M. Mijland, F.F.M. Ector and K. van der Hoeven, Restaurator 12: 163-182, 1991. Three large records series from 1800 to 1900 or 1920 were surveyed and found to be acidic (average pH 5.0 or 5.2), but one series was 60% brittle (corner fold, three double folds) and the other two only 5% brittle. The correlation between acidity and fold was 0.25.

A 1989 survey of paper in the Royal Library, with experts from Sweden and the US Library of Congress advising, covered the period 1800-1988. Results are published in Dutch and English in Bedreigd Papierbezit in Beeld-Endangered Books and Documents (CNC-Publikaties, 2), Den Haag, 1991 (ISSN 0926-2938). About 225 pages. (The CNC is a joint project of the Royal Library and the General Archives. Some of the characteristics measured were pH, discoloration, alum, presence of lignin, and whether the paper appeared to be handmade or machine-made. Correlations and trends by decade are shown in numerous graphs. In the Archives, 1.5% of the paper was brittle, and in the Library, 2.2%. (In U.S. research libraries, brittle books make up about 20% of the collections, though in York Public Library, this is 50%.) Brittleness did late significantly with country of origin, pH, or F alum or lignin only with decade of production, discoloration and type of paper. They have decided to g priority for preservation (probably microfilming) papers, then to monographs; but if even acidic paper (pH 3.5 -6.0) does not embrittle readily in the Netherlands, I may not find they have a mandate for deacidification.

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Standards: A Resource and Guide for Identification, Selection, and Acquisition, by Patricia Ricci. 2nd ed. $60 from Patricia Ricci, 8590 Pinehurst Alcove, Woodbury, MN 5,' 125 (612/739-3684).

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"The Manufacture of Paper in the Netherlands in the Nineteenth Century," IPH, International Paper History, with IPH Communications, v.1 #3, 1991. This is apparently an English translation or summary of a 71-page book published in 1990, and available from the Dutch Papermaking Association, Julianastraat 30, 2012 ES Haarlem, Netherlands. The author is given as "Drs. 0. de Wit." For the first 30 years after the paper machine was invented, Dutch paper continued to be made by hand, and the industry languished. De Wit says this lag was because of the conservatism of Dutch papermakers, together with technical ignorance and lack of finance. Holland was many decades behind England in the process of industrialization, which would have helped remove all of these obstacles. By 1869, there were 20 fourdriniers and about 50 steam engines in the paper industry. Straw pulp began to replace rags in 1854. Chemical wood pulp was first made in the Netherlands in 1885, and the paper industry began to flourish again.

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"A Preliminary Study of Chemical Methods for Stabilizing Lignin in Groundwood Paper," by Jan Lyall. Preprints of the Washington Congress (Sept. 1982) of the International Institute for Conservation, 79-84. The author had to interrupt this work because of administrative responsibilities, but she is resuming it. This paper reports the effect of bleaching on papers that might be used for works of art or manuscripts, with hydrogen peroxide and potassium borohydride, then acetylation with acetic anhydride. The papers were deacidified with magnesium bicarbonate, and challenged with heat and UV light. Acetylation greatly reduced brightness reversion.

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Pulp manufacturing processes and practices may greatly affect the permanence and durability of the paper made from the pulp, but because neither the paper mill nor the customer is in a position to exercise much meaningful choice among processes and practices, opportunities to improve a product are sometimes overlooked. Tear strength, for instance, which is a popular measure of strength in permanence standards, is greatly affected by fiber strength, which in turn is affected by pulping practices. Authors of the following paper make this point, showing the effect on tear strength (4-ply Elmendorf) of four different methods of discharging the cooked pulp from the digester: "Fiber strength and its Impact on Tear Strength," by Derek H. Page and Martin MacLeod, Tappi Journal Jan. 1992, 172-174.

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Paper Chemistry--An Introduction, by Dan Eklund and Tom Lindström. Publisher: DT Paper Science, Mariavägen 9, Grankulla, Finland. (This is the Swedish version of the Finnish address given on the back page of the last issue; both are correct.) 1991. 305 pp. $95 cloth, $85 paperback ISBN 952-90-3606-X (hard cover), 952-90-3607-8 (paperback) So far there is no U.S. distributor.

The authors assume the reader has a chemical and mathematical background, but they write clearly enough for even a nontechnical reader to glean a lot from it. Example from p. 11: "There are many models showing how cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin are distributed in the secondary wall of the fiber. Fig. II.3 shows a schematic picture of a fiber wall according to one such model. The microfibrils are built up of bundles of cellulose molecules which are then considered to be bound with hemicellulose to the lignin of the fiber wall.

"During pulping of the wood, the middle lamella is almost completely removed. This is of course the aim of the delignification. When the middle lamella is removed, the fibers can be separated from each other. . . ."

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There are many diagrams, tables and graphs, as well as mathematical formulas. The book properly emphasizes surface and colloid chemistry, and explains what you need to know, without oversimplifying. References at the ends of the chapters are in English. There is no index, surely an oversight. The book is sewn, but the paper is acid.

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"Neutral Sizing," by John Roberts. (Pira Reviews of Pulp and Paper Technology). March 1992. ISBN 0 902799 83 5. E60. Like other reviews in this series, this review consists of 10-12,000 words (about the length of a 12-page newsletter like the APA) supported by about 100 abstracts taken from the Pira database.

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Timestamp: Sunday, 03-Mar-2013 21:42:03 PST
Retrieved: Friday, 24-Nov-2017 22:27:22 GMT