Volume 9, Number 2
A Call for the Use of Archival Papers in the Production of Books:
Conclusions from a Symposium in Frankfurt Sponsored by the German
Library and the Society for the Book on February 14, 1990
[Frankfurter Forderungen zur Verwendung alterungsbeständiger
Papiere für die Buchherstellung: Ergebnisse eines Symposions
der Deutschen Bibliothek und der Gesellschaft für das Buch
am 14. Februar 1990. Translated by Karin Slenczka for Abbey Publications.)
At the time of this 1990 meeting, a committee of the German
Standards Institute, DIN, was working on a standard for paper
permanence based on accelerated aging results rather than on
chemical stability and strength. Librarians and archivists opposed
this standard, since it could certify as permanent even papers
containing groundwood and having a pH of 4.0. Commercial interests
dominated the DIN committee at that time, since it was made up
entirely of representatives from industry. The standard was
approved in 1991 and published in 1992 as DIN 6738.
As a result of this controversy, the Frankfurter Forderungen
document is said to have become the de facto permanence
standard among cultural institutions in Germany.
- Books are considered of great importance as a medium for cultural
transmission. Therefore the participants at the symposium strongly
welcome and support the assurance of permanence for the printed
- The participants believed that the highest possible resistance
to aging is desirable in books. Modern technology makes the production
and availability of adequate papers possible. But optimal resistance
to aging can only be achieved if the individual book is viewed
as part of a complex system that involves all the aspects of its
life--from the production of the paper to the binding of the
book, and finally to its storage.
- According to current knowledge, the acidic production process
of paper and the use of groundwood pulp are mainly responsible
for the loss of mechanical strength in papers due to aging. For
this reason the participants called for a way to identify papers
used in the printing of books. This system should make it clear
to printers, publishers, and buyers of books whether a paper meets
these two salient criteria. This declaration should apply not
only to uncoated paper, but also to base stock (i.e., the base
sheet to which coating is applied).
- The specifications for paper that is resistant to aging are
as follows and should be confirmed for both coated and uncoated
paper, by the producer and/or the supplier:
- use of bleached cellulose only, no lignin-containing fiber
- a pH of 7.5 to 9 (7 being neutral)
- a calcium carbonate buffer of at least 3% as added protec tion
against environmental damage.
- The use of paper with these specifications should be declared
in books in the future. For books bearing such a notice, the
German Library commits itself to adding this information to their
bibliographic services, thus providing booksellers, libraries
and the buyers of books a definitive statement about the quality
of the materials used. The participants agreed that these specifications
should have an influence on any future EU guidelines.
- The participants welcomed the unanimous support of the German
Library and the Society for the Book for the appeal to publishers,
through the publishers' committee in the German book trade association
(der Verleger-Ausschub des Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels).
- The participants agreed that further research was needed on
the resistance of paper to aging and on the exact specifications
for archival papers. For instance, research has not yet been
done on the influence of different materials used as binders in
coated papers on the aging of these papers. They appeal to the
responsible federal institutions as well as to industrial research
facilities to initiate, support and carry out the necessary research
on these questions.
- The participants were happy to have had the opportunity to
discuss these problems during this symposium conducted by the
Society for the Book and the German Library. They would welcome
further consultation with this circle of experts.
(Signed by the Deutsche Bibliothek and the Gesellschaft für