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104th Congress                                                 Document
                                SENATE
 2d Session                                                      104-24
_______________________________________________________________________


 
               JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

                               __________

                              FINAL REPORT
                              TO CONGRESS

                                 on the

                            JOINT RESOLUTION
                     TO ESTABLISH A NATIONAL POLICY
                          ON PERMANENT PAPERS

<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


                             SEPTEMBER 1996
               JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

MARK O. HATFIELD, Oregon, Chairman
  WILLIAM M. THOMAS, California, 
           Vice Chairman
               HOUSE                               SENATE
PAT ROBERTS, Kansas                  JOHN W. WARNER, Virginia
ROBERT W. NEY, Ohio                  TED STEVENS, Alaska
VIC FAZIO, California                CLAIBORNE PELL, Rhode Island
ED PASTOR, Arizona                   DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN, New York
               STAFF
      Chuck Frost (HATFIELD)
     Mary Sue Englund (THOMAS)


                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                                 December 30, 1995.
To the Secretary of the United States Senate:
    Pursuant to the provisions of Public Law 101-423, the 
Librarian of Congress, the Archivist of the United States, and 
the Public Printer herewith submit the final report in 
accordance with section 3 of the Joint Resolution to Establish 
a National Policy on Permanent Papers.
            Respectfully,
                                   James H. Billington,
                                           The Librarian of Congress.
                                   John W. Carlin,
                                           Archivist of the United 
                                               States.
                                   Michael F. DiMario,
                                           Public Printer.


                            EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

     This report to Congress is the last of three in which the 
Librarian of Congress, Archivist of the United States, and the 
Public Printer summarize the Federal Government's progress on 
implementing Public Law 101-423. Much has been accomplished 
since the law was passed in October 1990, particularly during 
the period 1994 through 1995. Highlights of these achievements, 
discussed in detail in the following report, include:
          Joint Committee on Printing (JCP) specifications 
        developed for 4 new permanent papers and 16 new 
        alkaline papers;
          JCP issued Government Paper Specification Standards 
        (No. 10), from which the 20 newly specified papers can 
        be procured;
          National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) 
        issued NARA Bulletin No. 95-7, ``Procurement of 
        Writing, Copying, and Printing Papers for Federal 
        Records,'' which provides guidance to Federal agencies 
        in the use of alkaline and permanent papers;
          Library of Congress (LC) continues research to 
        identify new and improved methods for the artificial 
        aging of paper;
          Research on the aging of lignin-containing alkaline 
        papers initiated in both the United States (including 
        LC and NARA) and Canada;
          New or revised standards for paper permanence issued 
        by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 
        the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), 
        and the International Organization for Standards (ISO);
          Continued increase in U.S. production of alkaline 
        paper; 99.9 percent of book papers procured through 
        bulk purchase by the Government Printing Office (GPO) 
        in 1995 were alkaline; and
          General Services Administration (GSA) provided papers 
        for purchase that match the JCP specifications.
    Submission of this report discharges responsibilities 
assigned to the Librarian of Congress, Archivist of the United 
States, and the Public Printer, as set forth in Pub. L. 101-
423. However, since important work remains to be done, they 
have agreed to continue monitoring, on an ad hoc basis, 
progress in the implementation of the Government's permanent 
paper policy.
                              Introduction

    Public Law 101-423, A Joint Resolution to Establish a 
National Policy on Permanent Papers (Section 3), states the 
following:

          The Librarian of Congress, the Archivist of the 
        United States, and the Public Printer shall jointly 
        monitor the Federal Government's progress in 
        implementing the national policy * * * regarding acid 
        free permanent papers and shall report to the Congress 
        regarding such progress on December 31, 1991, December 
        31, 1993 and December 31, 1995.

    The Librarian of Congress, the Archivist of the United 
States, and the Public Printer (the monitoring agencies) have 
been working together to monitor implementation of the law 
since it was signed by the President on October 12, 1990. In 
addition, the agencies worked jointly to enhance the general 
level of knowledge in the Federal Government about the national 
policy on permanent paper, and to ensure that Federal agencies 
understand the criteria to be used to determine whether 
documents have enduring (i.e., long-term) value. This report is 
the last of three reports to Congress required by Pub. L. 101-
423.

                 Progress in Monitoring Pub. L. 101-423

Definition of permanence
    Pub. L. 101-423 (Appendix 1) recommends the use of ``acid 
free permanent paper'' using the specifications established by 
the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP). For purposes of clarity, 
this report adheres to the JCP specifications. Thus, an acid 
free permanent paper is defined to be a fully bleached sheet 
with a pH of 7.5 or above, an alkaline reserve of 2 percent or 
more, a minimum MIT folding endurance in either direction of 30 
double folds, and a minimum tearing strength in either 
direction of 25 grams for a 30 lb paper and proportionately 
higher tearing strengths for heavier papers. This definition 
matches most closely the first specification for permanent 
paper, ANSI Z39.48-1984, developed by National Information 
Standards Organization, which has strong support in the 
archival and library communities.
Standards and specifications
    Federal. When Public Law 101-423 was passed five years ago, 
the Government had only one specification for permanent paper: 
JCP A270, uncoated permanent book, white and cream white. With 
the issuance in July 1994 of the latest version of the 
``Government Paper Specification Standards (No. 10),'' the 
number of permanent papers available for Government use 
increased from one to five. The four new permanent papers are:
          JCP G40, Option A, 25 percent bond, white and colored 
        (with 50 percent recovered material);
          JCP G60, Option A, 25 percent opacified bond, white 
        and buff (with 50 percent recovered material);
          JCP H30, Option A, imitation parchment, laser-finish, 
        white and colored; and
          JCP O-60, Option A, plain copier, xerographic, white, 
        natural and colored.
A number of alkaline papers have been added as option A to many 
existing specifications. The specification standards advise 
that option A should be specified if the printed product must 
have above average permanence. The alkaline option is available 
in 16 paper grades (Appendix 2). All of these JCP papers 
available through the Government Printing Office (GPO) and 
General Services Administration (GSA) are recyclable within the 
programs Federal agencies now operate.
    The monitoring agencies have been working with the GSA to 
ensure that some of the same papers available to Federal 
agencies in the Washington, DC area through the GPO will be 
available nationwide. GSA now offers three permanent papers and 
two alkaline papers (Table 1).

       TABLE 1.--PERMANENT AND ALKALINE PAPERS AVAILABLE FROM GSA       
------------------------------------------------------------------------
       Permanent/alkaline          GSA order number       Description   
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Permanent.......................  GSA NSN 7530-01-    25% bond, white,  
                                   398-2656 \1\.       20 lb, 8\1/      
                                                       2\<greek-e>11.   
Permanent.......................  GSA NSN 7530-01-    Plain copier,     
                                   398-2654.           xerographic,     
                                                       white, 20 lb, 8\1/
                                                       2\<greek-e>11.   
Permanent.......................  GSA NSN 7530-01-    Plain copier,     
                                   398-2655.           xerographic,     
                                                       white, 20 lb, 8\1/
                                                       2\<greek-e>14.   
Alkaline........................  GSA NSN 7530-01-    Recycled plain    
                                   398-2652 \1\.       copier,          
                                                       xerographic, 20  
                                                       lb, 8\1/2\<greek-
                                                       e>11.            
Alkaline........................  GSA NSN 7530-01-    Recycled plain    
                                   398-2653 \1\.       copier,          
                                                       xerographic, 20  
                                                       lb, 8\1/2\<greek-
                                                       e>14.            
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Meets recovered and post consumer materials percentages cited in    
  Executive Order 12873, Federal Acquisition, Recycling, Acquisition,   
  and Waste Prevention.                                                 

    Private. In the United States, two organizations write 
consensus standards, specifications, or guidelines for papers 
that may be used for permanent records and publications 
intended for long-term retention. They are the National 
Information Standards Organization (NISO) and the American 
Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Both organizations 
develop standards or specifications by committees, which then 
submit them to the organization as a whole for a vote. The 
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the 
Library of Congress (LC) are voting members of NISO and ASTM 
and are also represented on various committees.
    NISO develops American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 
standards, the primary function of which is to disseminate 
information. NISO published its first standard, ``Permanence of 
Paper for Printed Library Materials,'' Z39.48-1984, in 1984. 
The criteria for permanence established in this standard were 
used as a starting point for the JCP A270 (uncoated permanent 
book, white and cream white) specification. In 1992, the ANSI 
standard was revised to include coated papers and expanded to 
include archives materials. Thus, its new title, ``Permanence 
of Paper for Publications and Documents in Libraries and 
Archives,'' Z39.48-1992. Other changes included dropping the 
folding endurance requirement and replacing tear resistance 
with a tear index (Appendix 3).
    ASTM develops specifications, guides, and test methods for 
a wide variety of manufactured products. Its paper standards 
are written to incorporate requirements within the same 
standard for papers expected to have different life 
expectancies. The category ``maximum life expectancy,'' which 
replaced the category ``maximum permanence, high usage,'' 
defines the permanence requirements for manifold papers (D3208-
94), for bond and ledger papers (D3290-94), and for papers used 
in office copying machines (D3458-94). These specifications, 
together with the ``Guide for the Selection of Permanent and 
Durable Offset and Book Papers,'' (D5634-94), comprise the ASTM 
work on permanent paper.
    In the course of revising these ASTM specifications, the 
question arose whether an alkaline paper might still be 
considered permanent if it also contained more lignin (a 
component of wood that is almost completely removed by 
``traditional'' chemical pulping and bleaching) than any of the 
specifications allowed. Because lignin-containing papers have 
traditionally been produced by an acidic process, no studies of 
historic papers exist to which scientists can refer in their 
search for an answer to that question. Valid methods for 
determining the potential longevity of alkaline papers with a 
high lignin content are needed because increasing quantities of 
these papers are now coming on the market. To facilitate this 
research, valid and reliable methods of artificial aging must 
be developed. The Library of Congress Research and Testing 
Office has been engaged in such research for the past three 
years, and has recently received support from ASTM to 
accelerate this effort.
    To spearhead this effort, ASTM (under the auspices of their 
Institute for Standards Research (ISR)) held a workshop in 1994 
on the effects of aging on printing and writing papers. From 
this workshop evolved a series of research proposals pertaining 
to the development of aging methods using light, pollutants, 
heat, and humidity; and to the fundamental chemistry of the 
aging phenomena. The proposed research was estimated to require 
3 years and to cost over $2.5 million. Although the research is 
not yet fully funded, initial work is proceeding on two 
projects. One is an investigation of the fundamentals of light 
aging to determine how aging can be accelerated without 
altering the chemical reactions from those that occur during 
natural aging. The second is an investigation of the effects of 
aging in low levels of air pollutants (including nitrogen 
dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and ozone).
    International. The body that develops standards for the 
international community, the International Organization for 
Standards (ISO), works closely with NISO. Thus, it is no 
coincidence that the requirements of the standard, ISO 9706, 
``Information and Documentation--Paper for Documents--
Requirements for Permanence,'' are similar to those of ANSI 
standard Z39.48-1992. ISO 9706 differs slightly from ANSI 
Z39.48-1992 in fiber content (lignin, ground woodpulp, and 
unbleached pulp) and tear resistance measurement. In 1995, ISO 
developed a standard for archival papers, ISO/DIS 11108, 
``Information and Documentation--Archival Paper--Requirements 
for Permanence and Durability'' (Appendix 3).
    A number of countries have developed standards for 
permanent papers that will probably be replaced by the ISO 
standard. The most debated of these is undoubtedly the German 
standard, DIN 6738, which has not met acceptance from either 
the archival or library communities, even within Germany. Like 
the United States, the Canadian Government has established a 
policy on the use of permanent paper. However, in trying to 
devise specifications for that paper, it met with even stiffer 
resistance than had NISO, ASTM, or ISO to the requirement that 
the paper not contain a significant quantity of lignin.

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