A Case for a New Case Paper: Co-engineering Library Conservation Materials from Locally Sourced Agricultural Waste, $ 13,673

Historic binding examples.2.JPG

This project was funded by the University of Illinois Library in 2019.


In 2016, the University of Iowa’s Center for the Book ceased production of “flax PC4 papers”. This paper is widely accepted as the best quality paper for book conservators to use for historic limp case and paper case bindings. Since 2016, no suitable substitute has come on the market. Upon a visit to a local paper making studio, University Library conservators were intrigued to find papers being produced which closely resembled the Iowa Case Paper, but with a noble mission. The Fresh Press follows a mission to “explore and enact the potential of regional sustainable agricultural fiber waste as paper and paper products”. This proposal seeks to fund research towards developing a paper stock to rival the utility of the Iowa Case Paperfor book conservation while maximizing the use of sustainable fibers. Our goals are to show proof of concept working collaboratively across colleges to create a new, locally sourced and produced paper to be used in cultural heritage conservation; to test material and chemical characteristics to determine the best source and production detailsof a new paper; and to test the resulting materials in a conservation setting to ensure practical use in the field.



All images above are by Anneka Vetter.


"A Case for a New Case Paper: From Farm to Table to Desk to Bench"

Eric Benson, Quinn Ferris, Jennifer Hain Teper, Anneka Vetter

Book and Paper Group Annual (2019).