The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) working group that is putting together the world's first international paper Permanence standard met April 18-19 in Copenhagen. A verbal report was published on P. 13 of the May issue of this newsletter. Since then, the minutes have been sent out, and a few corrections are in order: Aging conditions of 80°/65% were decided on for the round robin; the third draft of the standard calls for 80% retention of tear resistance; and the same draft also sets an upper pH limit of 10.5 rather than 9.5. Round robin testing will cover tear, alkaline reserve, kappa number or fiber content and pH, and samples are due in by September 15. The next meeting will be in London, November 8-9.
The European Committee for Standardization (CEN), technical committee CEN/TC 172 on Paper, Board and Pulp, is considering whether to set up a temporary Working Group to study the question of permanent papers, or to wait until the ISO Working Group completes its work. CEN seems to be part of the European Community structure, so any standard it formulated would have a more official role than any ISO standard. Its last meeting was in April, and the next one may be in November.
The National Information Standards Organization has scheduled revision of Z39.48, Permanence of Paper for Publications and Documents in Libraries and Archives, for October. A report of issues discussed in the February meeting is on P. 16 of the May issue of this newsletter.
The German standards organization, DIN, has drafted a standard for use only as a working paper in the ISO and CEN working groups. Its number and name are DIN 006738, Paper and Board Lifespan Classes. Since it is now being made available to the public for review and comments, the Abbey Publications office can send copies to readers on request for a self-addressed stamped envelope. The draft is only four pages long.