The Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 2, Number 1
Apr 1989

Authors and Publishers Pledge to use Acid-Free Paper

There was a "Commitment Day" ceremony at the New York Public Library on March 7, honoring the 46 authors and 40 publishers who had signed the prominently-displayed "Declaration of Book Preservation." Like the Declaration of Independence, it was large, attractively calligraphed, and followed by a number of signatures. The press was there in force, taking pictures and crowding around to ask the famous authors questions after the speakers had stepped down. Later their stories appeared in major publications, e.g. Newsweek for March 20, on p. 80.

The text of the Declaration reads as follows:

"We, the undersigned authors and publishers, hereby declare our commitment to use acid-free paper* for all first printings of quality hard-cover trade books in order to preserve the printed word and safeguard our cultural heritage for future generations."

* subject to availability

Among the authors are Isaac Asimov, Joan Didion, Allen Ginsberg, Barbara Goldsmith (who co-chaired the meeting with Vartan Gregorian, and whose idea it all was in the first place), George Plimpton, William Safire, Maurice Sendak, Susan Sontag, Tom Wolfe and Kurt Vonnegut. Among the publishers are Doubleday, Grove Press, Harper & Row, Houghton Mifflin, Knopf, McGraw-Hill, MacMillan, Norton, Random House and a number of university presses. Nearly every name is familiar.

The New York Times for March 16 carried a full-page replica of the Declaration, with all signatures below.

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