Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 1, Number 1
Jun 1994


Literature

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Les Documents Graphiques et Photographiques: Analyse et Conservation. Paris: Archives Nationales, 1993. 252 pp. FF180 + P&H.

This reports the work of the Centre de Recherches sur la Conservation des Documents Graphiques, 1991-93. All the papers are in French, but they are abstracted in English. Here are some that look interesting:

"Printing Ink Stability," by Martine Maraval and Françoise Flieder. They found 15 black inks to be stable chemically and resistant to fading, but the 11 colored inks were less stable, mainly because some of them faded in light.

"Influence of Optical Brighteners on Paper Permanence," by Françoise LeClerc and Françoise Flieder. During aging, the brightened papers yellow more than the others but they still look whiter. The physical and chemical properties of the papers were not changed by the brighteners, except in rag blotting papers.

"A Study on Photocopies Stability," by Françoise LeClerc, Monique Duhamel and Nicole Valette. This was a study on aging and abrasion resistance of xerographic copies in order to find which machine produced the most permanent copies. Eight copiers and one laser printer were tested, and the best for legibility and permanence of image were the laser printer, Kodak Ektaprint 300, Mita 1657, Canon NP 8580, Kodak Ektaprint 90 and OCE. (From the Abbey Newsletter. 3.4)

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Le papier permanent. (Les nouveaux enjeux du patrimoine, No. 1) CLLR (Coopération pour le livre en Languedoc-Roussillon) 1992. Proceedings of the Colloque de Nimes, 22-24 Nov. 1990, organized by CLLR. ISBN 2-9506684-0-2. 128 pp.

CLLR's missions are "Regional cooperation among archives, libraries and organizations of documentation for the encouragement of reading and research; for safeguarding, development and enrichment of documentary heritage." These proceedings should go a long way toward carrying out these missions, because the book is well-edited, including transcripts of the discussion following each paper, a 40-page record of a round table discussion, and two little appendixes documenting a survey of French libraries on the preservation measures they were taking. Topics covered by the papers include mass deacidification, permanent paper progress in the United Kingdom, and standards. The speakers were Jean-Marie Arnoult, Angès Marcetteau, Astrid Brandt, David Clements and Corinne Le Bitouzé. (3A9.4)

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Second Report to Congress on the Joint Resolution to Establish a National Policy on Permanent Papers: Report of the Joint Committee on the Library. 103rd Congress, 2nd Session. USGPO, 1994. 10 pp. Available from Supt. of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402. ISBN 0-16-043907-8. It has also been made available in full on the Cons DistList, and on the Internet from the Library of Congress. This report was submitted by the Librarian of Congress, the Acting Archivist of the U.S. and the Public Printer, speaking for what are called the three "lead agencies." It reports several steps taken in 1992 and 1993 toward establishing a governmentwide alkaline paper standard. It appears that the lead agencies are doing most of the work, while the Joint Committee on Printing, which writes the paper standards that government agencies are required to use, has been slow to revise standards in the direction of permanence. It merely added an alkaline option to several grades of paper. Three issues for future consideration are noted, among them the possible difficulty in monitoring the Federal Government's progress in increasing the use of permanent paper if Government printing is decentralized. (From the Abbey Newsletter. 3A9.5)

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Library of Congress Specifications for Mat/Mounting Board is a little eight-page booklet, printed in blue, grey and black on heavy paper and distributed free by Nielsen & Bainbridge. It is up to date, and these specifications are indeed used at the Library of Congress, but N&B forgot to tell their readers a few important things: 1) The specs are revised yearly, 2) they apply only to cream board (not colored) that LC buys for a specific use, and 3) Nielsen & Bainbridge reported that LC required adhesives used in the board to be alkaline, but LC does not specify a pH for adhesives. Nevertheless, the world is hungry for information about LC specs, especially about archival board, since there are no standards that cover them. On balance, the booklet will probably have a good effect.

The "Glossary of Terminology" provided by N&B, however, is so inaccurate that it would have been better to omit it. They got the name of ASTM wrong, defined a standard as a testing procedure, and said that sizing was a substance added to paper that fills in spaces between fibers. (From the Abbey Newsletter, corrected & edited. 3A9.8)

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North American Permanent Papers. Abbey Publications, Austin, TX, May 1994. 52 pp. ISBN 0-9622071-2-8. $7.00. This is not the only list of permanent papers in the world, though it is very likely the longest one, with 387 entries from 28 companies. It was assembled from returns to a questionnaire sent out in December 1993 to 60 paper companies in the U.S. and Canada. All the papers are said by their producers to meet the requirements of ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992, and the amount of recycled fiber and of post-consumer waste in each paper is noted. The papers are listed three ways: by type or use of paper, by company, and by name of the paper.

In addition, there are 33 pages of background information:

How to Find the Papers (a phone number for each company is given)

Types of Paper Listed

The Survey Questionnaire

The Nature of Permanence

Some Happenings on the Way to the Development of Permanent Record Papers, by William K. Wilson

Recycled Paper

The ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992 and Other Standards

Permanence Testing by Manufacturer and User

Report to Congress on the Implementation of PL 101-423

Text of PL 101-423 [the U.S. permanent paper law]

State and Local Action on Acid-Free Paper (3A9.9)

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Undersökning av Skriv- och Kopiepapper (An Investigation of Writing and Copy Paper), by Marie Louise Samuelsson. (Statens Provningsanstalt Rapport 1988:47) Swedish National Testing Institute, PO Box 857, S-501 15 Borås, Sweden; tel. + 46 33 - 16 50 00. 1988. 41 pp. English summary.

This investigation addresses the permanence of lignin-containing papers used for archival records, and the permanence of papers stored next to them. One rag paper and five photocopy papers were aged and tested for darkening and loss of strength. The five copy papers included two made from chemical pulp, one from recycled fiber and two from a mixture of mechanical and chemical pulps. Two of the last three papers were neutral and one was acid. Only one of the chemical pulp papers was definitely alkaline (pH 8.8); the other was neutral (6.1). The lignin-containing papers aged faster, and caused the rag paper to deteriorate faster when it was aged in contact with them. (3B1)

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"Demand for Permanent Paper Comes from Many Sources," a Pulp & Paper Canada interview with Derek Page. Pulp & Paper Canada 95:2, 1994, p. 10, 12. Page credits the television programs Turning to Dust and Slow Fires with stimulating the interest in permanent paper; also librarians and archivists, who have found it easy to persuade politicians to pass regulations in the area. Now, he says, there is a strong overflow from the areas of real need for permanent papers into areas where "permanence is perhaps desirable but not essential." He distinguishes two main effects of aging, embrittlement and darkening, and says that for some purposes going a little bit brown is quite a desirable feature in aging; paper rarely gets to the point of being unuseable, he says, as a result of becoming darker or yellower. He attributes the poor condition of paper made in the last century to alum rosin sizing and acidic gaseous pollutants, but does not mention the chemical instability of groundwood as an additional factor. He says only that it was a "very weak pulp" when it was first made. He feels that some people in the cultural community see the brittleness of paper made 40 or more years ago as a "machiavellian plot on the part of the papermakers to make life difficult for conservationists"; he thinks they see the papermaker as a villain.

The interviewer asked whether the cultural community was acting in its own best interests. Page replied, "No, I don't think it is, and that's a pity... There is an opportunity now to influence the growth of alkaline mechanical pulp-containing papers by giving them the designation 'mechanically permanent'... The transition towards alkaline papermaking could be made complete across the industry. The future libraries of the world would be secure whether they were printed on chemical or mechanical pulps." (3B1.1)

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Paper Deterioration and the Manufacture of Permanent Paper Grades, by Derek Priest and Judith Stanley. 1994. Available from Pira International, Publications Office, Randalls Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 7RU, UK (fax +44 [0372] 360104) for £45/$70. 1 85802 062 X. Forthcoming. The Pira blurb says, "This publication focuses on the topics of paper durability, permanence and deterioration. It discusses how the paper industry is rising to the challenge of developing 'permanent' paper grades which are both economically viable to produce, and able to meet national and international standard specifications." (3B1.1)

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"Can the Yellowing of Paper be Avoided?" by J. Janson. Papier v.47, #10A, Oct. 1993, p. V47-V52 (in German). The author reviews some of the factors in yellowing and ways (both affordable and expensive) of avoiding it. UV screens are a practical option; and "reagents with unknown modes of action (probably complexing) such as polyethylene glycols offer good opportunities for stabilizing the lightness and color of papers." (3B1.4)

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"Coating Cooks up a New Look," by Victoria Higgins. PIMA Magazine, May 1994, p. 31-32, 34-35. The author, assistant editor at PIMA Magazine, interviewed a number of experts on this topic by submitting questions to them and compiling their responses. The result is interesting and informative. Topics covered are quality and uniformity; increased automation, increased change; and structured pigment trends. She says in her introduction that coating formulations have already moved away from the use of 80% kaolin and 20% calcium carbonate toward an increased use of carbonate. (3B1.8)

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"Pigment Coated Printing Papers," by Ruth Prosser. In Proceedings, Modern Art: The Restoration and Techniques of Modern Paper and Paints: Proceedings of a conference jointly organized by UKIC and the Museum of London, May 22, 1989. Sheila Fairbrass and Johan Hermans, eds. 1989. p. 8-12. This paper summarizes in detail the production and composition of pigment-coated paper since the 19th century. (3B2.16)

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Timestamp: Sunday, 03-Mar-2013 21:42:27 PST
Retrieved: Wednesday, 22-Nov-2017 18:27:36 GMT