Alkaline Paper Advocate

Volume 9, Number 2
Jul 1996

Frankfurter Forderungen:
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.

  1. 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 word.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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:
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. 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 das Buch.)

 [Contents]  [Search]  [Abbey]

[Search all CoOL documents]

[Search all CoOL documents]