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Re: [BKARTS] In search of Black Roll paper..

>Date:    Mon, 10 Mar 2008 17:29:06 -0500
>From:    Julie Sullivan <julie3@xxxxxxxxxxx>
>Subject: Re: In search of Black Roll paper..
>I had once heard that it was impossible to make black paper totally  
>acid free. Is that true?
>Julie Sullivan

I'm not sure if I want to touch this one.  Today acid-free / archival has
become more of an advertising fad than anything with a true definition.

In its strictest definition, acid free means that something has a Ph of 7 or
above.  However keep in mind that dry materials do not have a pH, the value
of a pH only exists in liquids.  If we extrapolate on this and say what the
pH of the slurry is in the papermaking process then you may be able to
obtain something relatively close to an indication of its former pH value.  

However what does the pH really tell us?  Is it any indication of quality,
permanence, etc?  You can make paper from 100% lignin, which is the plant
fiber which is explicitly avoided in high permanence papers, and add a
chemical to it to raise the pH to a point above 7, basically making an
acid-free piece of junk.  There is certainly nothing untrue about calling
this paper acid-free, but I would say it is anything from high quality and
long lasting.

To Julie and others:  When you ask this question, what is your definition of
acid-free?  Archival would be another fun one to tackle.

Aaron Salik
20 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011
212-219-0770 Phone
212-219-0735 Fax

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