Timothy Barrett, hand papermaker of Kalamazoo, Michigan, is an American authority on traditional Japanese papers. He is now engaged in a research project to describe, as accurately as possible, the methods used to make the best of early Western papers. His project, entitled "Early European Papers/ Contemporary Conservation Papers," is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts Museums Program, the Kress Foundation, and Western Michigan University. During a second stage of this study, modern versions of several of the early papermaking techniques will be considered for use in the manufacture of modern conservation papers.
One of the first steps will be to identify and analyze the characteristics of these good early papers, using nondestructive and small-sample tests. For this purpose, he is appealing to conservators and others outside the paper-making community for sample leaves from books. He says: "While limited funds are available for the purchase of especially rare specimens or fragments, outright donations of papers to the research effort will be very much appreciated. Specifications for specimens follow below. My thanks for your consideration of this request."
There are five specifications for the historical paper samples:
The papers can be sent to him at his papermill (5947 N. 25th St., Kalamazoo, MI 49004) or at Western Michigan University, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Department of Paper Science and Engineering, Kalamazoo, Ml 49008, where the telephone number is 616/383-1804.