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China paper distinct from India paper? -Reply



Dear Ms. Nitzberg,

Thanks so much for your reply to my query about the distinction between =
China paper and India paper. I also apologise for the lateness of this =
reply. I was yanked off paper terminology onto another project almost at =
once, and still have not yet been able to get back on the topic and figure =
out my mutually distinguishing scope notes for these two terms. I held off =
replying, hoping to give all my respondents the finished result of my own =
work. It looks as though I shall not be able to do that any time soon, so =
I'm responding to the kind people to sent replies now, late though it is.

Thanks also for drawing my attention to the typo. I did indeed mean "India =
paper" when I wrote "Index paper". An error like that the spell check does =
not catch, since it looks like the correct spelling of another word. I =
type the word "index" so often in the course of my work, it's in my =
fingers, and slips out inappropriately now and again. Others also noticed. =
Sorry for the confusion.
=20
Thanks especially for the reference to E. J. Labarre, Dictionary and =
Encyclopedia of Paper and Papermaking, 1952. I've discovered a copy in the =
Getty Research Institute library, and have been allowed access to it. From =
him I gather that China paper/India proof paper is straw-coloured, soft =
and absorbent, unsized, and used extensively for lithographic and =
woodblock printing. And it has a fine china clay, not in the mixture,  but =
applied as a coating in the final stage of papermaking. According to the =
Labarre, India paper is a tough rag paper, originally made in English =
specifically for the Oxford University Press, who used it primarily for =
Bibles.  My scope notes will eventually reflect some or all of this =
information, in tidier wording.  Labarre will be a good source for many =
other paper-related terms as well.

Thanks again for sharing your expertise with me on this matter. I =
apologise again so not replying earlier, but I've been buried in African =
ethnonyms and in preparing PowerPoint presentations describing how I do my =
work, instead of actually doing it.=20

Best regards,

Alison Chipman
Editor, Vocabulary Program
Getty Information Institute

Nancy H. Nitzberg wrote:

I would recommend the Dictionary and Encyclopedia of Paper and
Paper-Making by E.J. Labarre as a wonderful source for many terms,
including those which may have colloquial usage but may not be technical=3D=

y
accurate (with explanations if that is so).  I have a 1952 edition
(published in the Netherlands by E.J. Labarre, Hilversum and Swets &
Zeitlinger, Amsterdam) which I like for its inclusion of traditional =
term=3D
s
with historical explanations of their derivation as well as technical
descriptions of paper.

About the question posed about China / India / Index paper, for those =
who=3D

do not have the above source, it says that "China paper and India =
(proof)=3D

paper are indentical. . . the latter has nothing to do with India and =
the=3D

use of the word is probably due to the tendency, prevailing down to the
18th Cent. to describe as Indian anything that came from the Far East =
(cf=3D
=3D2E
Indian Ink and 'India paper' for hangings, which originally came from
China). . .  What is now known as India paper (without the word 'proof')
used for bibles, is quite different.

India proof paper, sometimes abbr. to India or Indian paper, thus =
causing=3D

confusion, is really China paper, seeing that the original quality still
comes from there.  It is of a straw colour, extremely soft and absorbent,=
=3D

unsized, adapts itself to the surface of the steel plate or wood, and =
soa=3D
ks
up a large quantity of ink without afterwards smearing. . .    Also
frequently called India transfer paper.  The name is sometimes loosely
given to other papers of oriental manufacture, and to European and
American. . ."

A separate entry for India paper says, "also known as Oxford India, or
bible paper is a thin, tough, opaque rag paper made (originally) for the
Oxford University Press in imitation of paper from the east, chiefly for
use in bibles. . ."  =3D


The only listing close to "index paper" in Labarre's Dictionary is for
Index board or bristol which is said to resemble a heavy ledger.

The above definitions are consistent with the Roberts, Etherington
dictionary, but have more of the historical background which helps to =
sor=3D
t
out the confusion.

Best wishes on your project,

Nancy Nitzberg.


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