The Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 1, Number 3
May 1988

Budget Committee Takes Testimony on Alkaline Paper

Congressman Sidney Yates (D, Ill.) is Chairman of the Subcommittee - Interior and Related Agencies, of the House Appropriations Committee, and he has also become interested in alkaline paper in connection with preventing deterioration of library and archival materials. In a hearing on April 21, he set aside half a day for testimony on preservation of books and paper, and gave attention to each of the three major approaches: microfilming, deacidification and use of alkaline paper. This is the first time that alkaline paper has received extended attention in a government hearing.

More than 25 experts from foundations, libraries, archives, paper manufacturers and distributors, the Government Printing Office, and the Joint Committee on Printing were there. Mr. Yates asked what could be done to encourage the use of acid-free paper; the general consensus the paper manufacturers was that it was a matter of consumer demand, which currently is very modest. He then asked whether the industry could supply enough if the government started using it tomorrow. (The participants who supplied reports of the proceedings to this Newsletter differ about whether the answer was Yes or No.) Someone said that printers are conservative and do not like changes. It was also pointed out that the American Paper Institute was not likely to promote alkaline paper because its members who made acid paper would not appreciate it.

A staff member of the Congressional Joint Committee on Printing (which sets government paper standards) noted that recent legislation required that a portion of the paper used by the federal government must be from recycled paper and questioned whether this would conflict with the requirements being discussed. There was general agreement that recycled paper could be made to meet the standards.

Somebody (Rep- Yates, perhaps) suggested that tax incentives might be used to encourage conversion to alkaline paper . Several bills pending on the "moral rights" of artists might be used to encourage the use of alkaline paper.

Barbara Goldsmith, author and Trustee of the New York Public Library, spoke about her and other authors' efforts to ensure that their books were published on permanent paper. She also urged greater public awareness efforts as a means of enlisting private sector support, and in this connection several people spoke favorably of the Alkaline Paper Advocate.

Rolland Aubey of Nekoosa and William Novak of Glatfelter were there too. At least four distributors were represented: Frank Parsons Paper Co. (Donald F. Malaney), Paper Corporation of the United States (John Mulkern), Stanford Paper Co. (Louis Lopez) and Bulkley Dunton & Co. (John Dowling).

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