paper for permanent labels

Thu Jan 30 09:38:11 CST 1997


My knowledge may not quite be up-to-date, and you might try NHCOLL-L for
more (or more accurate?) information from a paper conservationist.  From
what I've heard, many companies are changing their paper-making process to
produce a pH-neutral paper _when produced_.  However, these are still
wood-pulp papers, and acid may/will slowly build up over time.  Some papers
are pH buffered with calcium carbonate to counteract this acidification.
Wood-pulp papers typically lack the strength of cotton fiber papers.  Here
at the Ada Hayden Herbarium we use Xerox Image Elite paper with 25% cotton
fiber (does anyone know if it's buffered?) for labels, and 100% cotton fiber
(Old Council Tree) for moss/fungus packets (the all-cotton paper holds up to
the folding, whereas over time wood-pulp paper will "break" along the folds).

Like you, I'd be interested in hearing more about how permanent today's
papers are.

On  Wed, 29 Jan 1997 18:18:12 -0600 Bob Wernerehl  wrote:
>The curator at the UW-Madison herbarium told me to use an all cotton paper
>for herbarium labels, because it was non-acid was would last forever. I
>asked about that at a print shop, and the printer told me that her paper
>supplier told her all office copier/printer paper was non-acid these days.
>They had changed the process a few years back, so that it doesn't have any
>acid in it, and should therefore last as long as all cotton paper. What do
>you folks know about this? Is it true? Should all cotton paper be used
>anyway for other reasons? Thanks in advance for your response. Unless this
>is a recent topic, respond to the list so others can share in your advice.
>Bob Wernerehl, B.S. Botany, Barneveld, Wisconsin.

Deborah Q. Lewis, Curator
Ada Hayden Herbarium (ISC)                           Ph. 515/294-9499
Department of Botany                                FAX: 515/294-1337
Iowa State University                      E-mail: dlewis at
Ames, IA  50011-1020  U.S.A.

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