archive of old items removed
from the Paper World News page

25 February 2009

please send in your news items and items for the agenda-page


Registration for the 2008 IPH Congress in Stockholm 27-31 May

The 29th IPH Congress of the International Association of Paper Historians will take place in Stockholm, Sweden on May 27-31, 2008, hosted by the Nordic Paper Historians, NPH. The event will be organized in conjunction with the 100 years anniversary of SPCI, the Swedish Association of Paper and Pulp Engineers and the World Pulp & Paper Week with its exhibition.

The congress consists of scientific sessions and a number of study visits to important institutions related to the history of paper

The overall theme of the IPH Congress is The Birth of an Industry – from Forest to Paper during the 19th Century. It will concentrate on describing the huge structural changes that took place during this period when papermaking changed from a handicraft type of activity to a continuously operating process industry.

Download and print the 10 pages document with all information: invitation, detailed program, congress fee, registration form, accommodation (hotel reservation), travel information, congress secretariat):
click here for Word-document


The Congress Secretariat
14 January 2008

For a program of the Visits to Swedish institutions of interest to paper historians during the congress click here

A Papermakers Tour of China
1-19 November 2007

Elaine and Donna Koretsky are preparing for their next papermaking expedition to China. They are inviting IPH members and others to join them.
For information and registration click here.

29th IPH Congress - Stockholm 2008 - Call for papers

While the 28th IPH congress in Spain (Capellades-Barcelona-Madrid) is still fresh in our memory, the preparations have started for the next congress in Stockholm in 2008.

The next venue will be Stockholm, Sweden, 27-30 May 2008, and will be hosted by the Nordic Paper Historians, NPH. The event will be organized in conjunction with the 100 years anniversary of SPCI, the Swedish Association of Paper and Pulp Engineers. The overall theme of the Congress will be The Birth of an Industry – from Forest to Paper during the 19th Century and it will concentrate on describing the huge structural changes that took place during this period when the papermaking changed from a handicraft type of activity to a continuously operating process industry.
Click here for more information/call for papers

please note that the deadline
for the call for papers
is 30 April 2007

2007 congress of the German Paper Historians in Saxony

The next congress of the Deutscher Arbeitskreis für Papiergeschichte will be held on 19-22 April 2007 in Weissenborn near Freiberg (Saxony).
For information and registration, please contact Dr. Frieder Schmidt.

New Website Elaine Koretsky

Visit the new website of Elaine's International Paper Museum in the Carriage House in Brookline, Mass.: click here

Paper People meeting in Fabriano

Fabriano, Teatro Gentile, 16-17 June 2006

During two days the Cartiere Miliani organized the European Paper Days in Fabriano, one of the two oldest centres of papermaking in Italy (Amalfi near Naples being the other). The theme of the meeting was Paper in the Era of Signs - The use of techniques and works by paper-makers from Fabriano in Italy and Europe. The European paper days were under the patronage of several organisations including the Italian Culture Ministry and Foreign Office, the EU representative in Italy, the Università Politecnica delle Marche and last-but-not-least the IPH. The IPH was represented by several distinguished members, including president Dr. Jozef Dabrowski and former president the Rev. Dr. Richard L. Hills. Among the speakers during the two study days were Prof. Georges Detersannes, Dott. Giancarlo Castagnari, Prof. Jose Carlos Balmaceda Abrate and Dr. Martin Kluge.

In Memoriam: Jean Irigoin

Prof. Dr Jean Irigoin, Honorary Member of IPH since 1994, passed away on 28 January 2006. Professor Irigoin has played a mayor role in our association: from 1963 to 1976 he was an assessor in the IPH Council and from 1976 to 1980 he acted as Vice-President of IPH. This short notification of his demise will later on be substituted by a more substantial obituary.

In Memoriam: John Simmons

Dr John Simon Gabriel Simmons, an eminent bibliographer and paper historian, passed away on 22 September 2005. It was only a few months after his 90th birthday (8 July) duly celebrated with events specially organised at Oxford on that occasion. In the scholarly curriculum vitae of Dr Simmons the independent branches of knowledge, i.e. bibliography and heraldry were combined with paper history and watermark studies. His fruitful cooperation with the Paper Publications Society (Labarre Foundation), started in 1960 and continued during almost 30 years as its General Editor (1965-94), is much appreciated. Almost 40 years ago (1967), Dr Simmons was the organizer of the 7th IPH Congress in Oxford. From 1963 to 1972 he was an assessor in the IPH Council. The Honorary Membership of the IPH was conferred on Dr Simmons in 2000.

In memoriam: Eva Ziesche

Only a few years after her retirement our dear member and friend Eva Ziesche passed away on 8 August 2005. During several decades of work in the Manuscripts department of the State Library of Prussian Cultural Heritage (Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz) in Berlin she has made a significant contribution to paper history, especially in watermark research and the development of watermark image improvement methods.

The MMPC in Capellades (Spain) will host the 28th IPH Conference in 2006

Eighty paper historians from around the world will celebrate the biannual conference at the museum in Capellades near Barcelona. In 1965, just four years after its inauguration, the Museu-Molí Paperer held its first international event, the biennial conference of the IPH. Forty years later, the Museum is again the host to the meeting of this most prestigious organisation. From 5 to 8 October 2006 Capellades-Montserrat-Barcelona are again the host towns for more than 80 experts expected from around the world. This time, the meeting will be structured around three themes, Hispano-Arabic paper, an ambit of special interest to experts both from South Europe and North Africa, ‘Paper Museums an their significance’, and ‘Dating documents and works of art on contemporary paper’. The conference programme can be downloaded as a pdf from the link on the Bulletin of the Museu-Molí Paperer de Capellades.

Second Letter of The President

2 February 2005

To the readers of the IPH Congress Book Vol. 14, entitled Paper as a Medium of Cultural Heritage. Archaeology and Conservation, Roma, 2004. In my paper published in that volume some data in the Table I (page 100) are erroneously printed. To give you the possibility of correcting them, I am presenting below an authorized version of that Table I.
With friendly regards,
Józef Dabrowski

An die Leser des IPH-Kongressbuches Band 14, getituliert Paper as a Medium of Cultural Heritage. Archaeology and Conservation, Roma, 2004. Einige Zahlen der Tabelle I (S. 100) meiner Mitteilung die im Band 14 erschienen ist, sind falsch gedruckt worden. Hier noch einmal die Tabelle I, diesmal mit den richtigen Ziffern. Somit können Sie die nötigen Korrekturen machen.
Mit freundlichen Grüssen,
Józef Dabrowski

A l’attention des lecteurs du Livre des Congrès IPH Vol. 14, intitulé Paper as a Medium of Cultural Heritage. Archaeology and Conservation, Roma, 2004. Certains chiffres du tableau no I (Pg. 100) de ma communication publiée dans ce livre ont été incorrectement imprimés. Ci-dessous la version exacte du tableau no I.
Avec les salutations amicales,
Józef Dabrowski

Letter of the President

For President Jozef Dabrowski's first letter to the members of IPH, dated 5 December 2004,
please click the button for a Word-document

Dr. Józef Dabrowski elected new President of IPH

At the ordinary general meeting of IPH on Sunday 5 September 2004 the Polish paperhistorian Dr. Józef Dabrowski was elected the 6th President of IPH. He succeeds Dr. Albert J. Elen who has been in office for six years (1998-2004). Dabrowski, pupil of our late honorary member Prof.Dr. Jadwiga Siniarska-Czaplicka (1913-1986) and working for the Pulp and Paper Research Institute in Lódz, is an active member of IPH for many years. In 1994 he was appointed corresponding member. Together with Dabrowski a new Vice-President was chosen. This is the Belgian Jos De Gelas, who was already a member of the IPH council. Treasurer is the Belgian Alphonse Radermecker, was is in office since 2003. We wish the new executive council much success and pleasure in their work.

treasurer Alphonse Radermecker and President Józef Dabrowski

28th IPH Congress 2006 in Spain

The choice of the venues of the next biennial congress of IPH was decided on during the ordinary general meeting of 5 September 2004. The first part will be in Capellades, home of the Paper Museum of co-coordinator Vctoria Rabal. The second part will be in Madrid, where co-coordinator Maria del Carmen Hidalgo Briquis is based. The exact dates of the congress have not yet been decided on, but will probably be 1-8 September 2006.

The 29th IPH Congress will possibly be organized by the Scandinavian Association of Paper Historians in Sweden (Stockholm) and Finland in 2008. The final choice will be made during the congress in 2006. For 2010 and 2012 the Netherlands (The Hague/Apeldoorn) and the United Kingdom (Surrey) have been mentioned.

27th IPH Congress in Poland: a big success

The IPH Congress was held from 3 to 10 September 2004 in Duszniki-Zdròj and Cracow. Fifty paper historians from thirteen different countries attended the congress. Next to two days of lectures and a general meeting held in the Chopin House in Duszniki, there were several excursions, including Wroclaw and Velke Loziny (Czechia), where the Ossolineum and the local Paper Museum were visited. In Wroclaw and Cracow visits were made to several research institutes and archives, including the Jagellonian University Library.

The organisor of the congress, mrs. Bozena Schweitzer-Makowska, director of the Paper Museum in Duszniki-Zdròj, was made an honorary citizen of this town by the lord mayor of the town. Mrs. Makowska and her crew are complimented for their excellent work.

First Digital Newsletter available

The mailing that all members will receive in the third week of January, is already available on the Internet. You will find a hyperlink to this pdf-document below. The printed mailing and the identical Digital Newsletter contain the following items: Letter of the President, Questionnaire, Congress 2004 Information & Registration (all in German, English and French versions). The final Digital Newsletter, which will replace the discontinued printed periodical Paper History is not yet decided on, as a group of members is still preparing a detailed proposal including a calculation of costs. The final decision will be taken during the forthcoming congress and general meeting in Duszniki Zdroj next September. You will find some relevant questions in the Questionnaire. Please take some minutes of your time to fill out this form in the language of your choice and mail it to the secretary of IPH. Plaese also fill out the registartion form if you want to attend the 27th IPH Congress in Poland next September, and mail this form as well.

The Newsletter can be opened with Adobe Reader. In case you do not have this software on your computer, you first need to download it (free) by clicking the logo below.

Digital Newsletter 1:

Happy New Year to you all

2004 will be a crucial year in the history of our association: we will have to find a solution for the structural lack of volunteers. The unavoidable discontinuation of the periodical forces us to change to a new e-mail newsletter (for which volunteers are indispensible). Furthermore, successors to the presidency and vice-presidency need to found: candidates for the elections of September are asked to come forward and contact me. Preparations for the forthcoming biennial IPH Congress in Duszniki Zdroj (Poland) are well under way and you will soon receive information about the program, lodgings, costs as well as a registration form. In the same mailing you will find an invoice for the membershipfee for 2003/2004. Lots of things to looks forward to, but also lots of things to find solutions for! I count on your commitment: please make yourself available to help keep up our good work. Looking forward to meet many of you in Duszniki,

Dr. Albert Elen
President of IPH

(1 January 2004)

IPH mailing to the members in January 2004

At long last the members will receive a substantial mailing including a Letter of the President, information and registration form for the forthcoming 27th IPH Congress in Poland (Sept. 2004) and an invoice for the membership fee for 2003/2004. The printed periodical has been discontinued for lack of volunteers to take up the editorship. A proposal for email-newsletter and website renewal is being prepared by two members.

(20 december 2003)

forthcoming distribution of
the IPH Congress Book 2002

The proceedings of the 26th international biennial congress of IPH, held in August/September 2002 in Rome and Verona, will be distributed to our members in March. The edititing and publishing is in the hands of the Istituto centrale di patologia del libro in Rome. Editor in charge is Rosella Graziaplena.

(20 December 2003)

100. Geburtstag von Dr. Wisso Weiß
2. Januar 2004

Am 2. Januar 2004 jährt sich zum 100. Mal der Geburtstag des bedeutenden Papierhistorikers. Er war 1904 in Baden-Baden als Sohn des Philologen, Historikers und Rechtsanwalts Dr. Karl Theodor Weiß (1872-1945) zur Welt gekommen. Dieser hatte 1897 als Privatinitiative das "Deutsche Papiermuseum" begründet, das zunächst vor allem aus einem Vorsatz und einem Briefkopf bestand. Als Wisso Weiß 1923 in Donaueschingen das Abitur ablegte, war sein älterer Bruder bereits gestorben und die Schwester nach den USA ausgewandert. Der Vater hatte zu diesem Zeitpunkt seinen Beruf als Rechtsanwalt aufgegeben und mit seiner Frau bei Verwandten der Mutter in Mönchweiler bei Villingen eine Unterkunft gefunden, die später als "Notwohnung" bezeichnet wurde. Unter solch miserablen Lebensumständen versuchte der Vater, der Papiergeschichte und der Wasserzeichenforschung ein solides wissenschaftliches Fundament zu geben. Das Leben eines Privatgelehrten ohne Vermögen vor Augen suchte Wisso Weiß seiner eigenen Existenz eine solide Basis zu geben und studierte in Tübingen, München, Freiburg und Heidelberg Volkswirtschaft und promovierte 1928 zum Dr. rer. pol. Seine Dissertation befasste sich mit dem sozialen Wohnungswesen und öffnete ihm Wege in die gemeinnützige Wohnungswirtschaft. Seine Tätigkeit bei der "Mitteldeutschen Heimstätte" führte ihn nach Erfurt, und nach dort holte er auch 1939 seine betagten Eltern. Wisso Weiß erlernte bei seinem Vater alle Feinheiten der Papiergeschichtsforschung und den Umgang mit der mehrere hundert Mappen umfassenden Wasserzeichensammlung. Als Karl Theodor Weiß am 12. Mai 1945 starb, lag die volle Verantwortung für dieses wissenschaftliche Erbe auf den Schultern des Sohns. 1949 gab Wisso Weiß seinen Beruf zu Gunsten der Papiergeschichtsforschung auf. Mehrere Jahre war er intensiv mit der Ermittlung der Wasserzeichen in den Notenhandschriften Johann Sebastian Bachs befasst. 1957 gelang es endlich, die väterliche Sammlung in staatliches Eigentum zu überführen. In Greiz (Thüringen) entstand unter seiner Leitung das Deutsche Papiermuseum, das 7 Jahre später dem Deutschen Buch- und Schriftmuseum der Deutschen Bücherei Leipzig einverleibt wurde. Als Leiter des Sachgebiets "Deutsches Papiermuseum" waren ihm die neu eingestellten Mitarbeiter Dr. Wolfgang Schlieder und Gertraude Spoer zugeordnet. 1959 gehörte Wisso Weiß zu jenen 12 Personen, die in Bamberg die Internationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Papierhistoriker (IPH) gründeten. Aus dem Nachlass von Karl Theodor Weiß veröffentlichte er 1962 das "Handbuch der Wasserzeichenkunde". Im Vorwort heißt es: "Dieses Buch ist etwas Neues und kann bei der kurzen, dem einzelnen Forscher zugemessenen Lebenszeit weder Abgeschlossenes noch Vollständiges geben. Es soll aber ein Samenkorn sein, wachsen und Früchte tragen." Viele Aufsätze im Gutenberg-Jahrbuch gehörten zu diesen daraus erwachsenden Erträgen. 1969 trat Wisso Weiß in den Ruhestand, doch bedeutete dies nicht das Ende seiner Forschungen. Publikationen wie die "Zeittafel zur Papiergeschichte" (1983) oder "Historische Wasserzeichen" (1986) belegen den unermüdlichen Fleiß des stets rührigen Wissenschaftlers. Als er am 17. November 1991 mit 87 Jahren starb, war nur kurz zuvor eine letzte wissenschaftliche Arbeit erschienen, die dem Bücherliebhaber Einsichten aus papiergeschichtlicher Sicht vermittelte (Alte Ausgaben auf Feinpapier. In: Imprimatur N.F. 14 (1991), S. 305-324). Sein als Depositum im Deutschen Buch- und Schriftmuseum aufbewahrter Nachlass macht deutlich, wie viele Anknüpfungspunkte er nachfolgenden Generationen für eigene Forschungen anzubieten hat.

Frieder Schmidt

27th IPH Congress Poland 2004

The dates for the next biennial congress of IPH are 3 to 10 September 2004. The congress will be hosted and organized by the Paper Museum of Duszniki Zdròj. A detailed programme, further information and application forms will be available in December. They will be mailed to all members, together with a letter by the President and an invoice for the membership fee for the years 2003 and 2004.

(November 2003)

Françoise Paireau deceased

The council of IPH received the sad news that our dear member and colleague from France, Françoise Paireau has died of cancer on 6 November. Paireau was an universally acknowledged expert in Japanese papers and teached at the Design Department of Yokohama University.

(November 2003)

the curtain has dropped: periodical discontinued

The urgent appeals for candidates to take over the editorship of the IPH periodical Paper History have been to no avail. Unfortunately, no one is willing to lend a hand unless their employer allows them to do the work during office hours. This is a most alarming general tendency facing associations like ours: people expect a product in exchange for their membership fee and do not realize that this organisation relies on honorary work of its members. Therefore the discontinuation of the periodical is a fact. The council has asked two members, who suggested to replace the printed periodical with a digital newsletter, to procede and make a proposal. The members of IPH will be informed by the council about these developments in September. The good news is that the IPH Congress Book 2002 is well under way. The editors in Rome intend to send the book to press in the fall. It is published by the Istituto di patologia del libro, the organizer of the 2002 congress.

(August 2003)

fear of discontinuation of periodical
Urgent appeal for candidates

A year ago (March 2002) the editor of our periodical has expressed the wish to step down as of 1 January 2003. The council has gone to great efforts to find a follow up and found a candidate. Unfortunately, the employer of this candidate refuses this candidate approval to do this job during working hours. Who is willing to take over the job at short notice? Please help us out, our association is totally dependent on the work of volunteers! Please contact the president, Albert Elen (email:

(April 2003)

join the Koretsky's
on their new paper adventure in China

Carriage House Paper is sponsoring a new adventure in China, August 9 - 30, 2003. Featured is an expedition to "... a village lost in the wilderness of the huge Tibetan plateau, nestled between cliffs and whipped all winter long by an icy wind, which hides a unique rare pearl: its printing house." Here the Tibetans print their sacred manuscripts, using traditional hand methods to carve the wood blocks, make the ink, and make the paper. In Chengdu the group visits the memorial to Hsieh-Tao, whom the Chinese describe as the first lady papermaker. During the great Tang Dynasty (8th cent.) she created fancy designs in notepapers (this was the beginning of watermarks in paper),on which she wrote love poems. For another amazing papermaking experience, we drive to Fuyang, the largest center of papermaking in China for both handmade paper and machine paper. Here we visit a village inhabited by Cai Lun's descendants,who make bamboo paper by hand. And we see the unusual method of using human urine in the processing of bamboo. In Anhui Province we see papermakers producing the famous "Xuan" paper, revered by Chinese painters and calligraphers. They believe the handmade paper of Anhui surpasses all others. For details, contact Elaine Koretsky at the Carriage House Paper Museum, 8 Evans Rd. Brookline MA 02445, USA; tel: 1(617)232-1636; email: click here

Piccard watermarks on-line

20.000 unpublished watermarks collected by Piccard (the Wasserzeichenkartei Piccard) are now available on-line on the site of the Hauptstaatsarchiv Stuttgart.

For an introduction see: the following site

Publication of issue 2 of Paper History belated

For practical and organisational reasons the publication and distribution of issue 2 of our periodical Paper History is belated. It is expected to be distributed in February.
The protocol of the ordinary general meeting, which will be published in issue 3, is already available on-line in French, in German and in English (please click on the language you want).

IPH congress 2002 documents available online

At last the definite program of the forthcoming IPH congress, with all speakers and their subjects, excursions, dinners and so on, is available. Just

Also available is the agenda for the general meeting on September 2nd 2002:
And so is the President's biennial report:

Manuel Alegre Ribeiro deceased

The sad news reached us that our dear Portuguese friend and colleague Manuel C. Alegre Ribeiro has died on April 7th 2002. Mr. Alegre Ribeiro is well known to many of us as the coordinator of our memorable congress in Porto in 1998. Our thoughts are with his widow Ana Paula Carvalho and his relatives, whom I have communicated our sincerest condolences. AE

26th IPH congress 2002
Paper as a bearer of cultural heritage
The archaeology and conservation of paper

The next IPH congress will be held in Rome and Verona from 30 August until 6 September 2002.
Have a look at THE PROGRAM!

Papermaking Expedition - Three Weeks in Rural China
19 April - 8 May, 2002

Elaine and Donna Koretsky will lead a small band of intrepid papermakers and paper historians, who also are adventure seekers, through Southwest China, focusing on Yunnan Province and Guizhou Province. These are relatively undeveloped areas of China, still yielding a fascinating glimpse into the past history of China. The group will see centuries-old ways of working in papermaking, textiles, architecture, and agriculture, using methods that have not yet been corrupted by the modern world. And the group will enjoy the lively and colorful festivals of the Miao and Dong minority groups who inhabit much of this area. Approximate dates are April 19 to May 8, 2001. For a prospectus, please contact Carriage House Studio at 718-599-7857; email:; or write to Carriage House at 79 Guernsey St., Brooklyn, NY 11222.

Announcing a papermaker's tour to Burma and Thailand
featuring the Taunggyi, organized by Donna Koretsky

Paper Fire Balloon Festival Approximately November 25-December 15, 2001: Donna Koretsky will lead a small group to Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand, visiting the papermakers and papermaking areas that are described in "The Goldbeaters of Mandalay", a book written by Donna Koretsky and Elaine Koretsky, giving an account of hand papermaking in Burma today. A highlight of the trip will be our visit to Taunggyi to see the fantastic fire balloon festival. During the day we shall see huge fanciful animals, made entirely from handmade paper, rising slowly into the sky. At night, enormous balloons, often featuring giant fireworks displays, are sent up. The last 3 days are spent participating in a papermaking workshop at the Idin Paper Mill, in a lovely rural area in Northern Thailand. For details of this trip, contact Donna at Carriage House Paper, 79 Guernsey St., Brooklyn, NY 11222. Tel/fax: 718-599-7857 or send an e-mail

open letter

Issue 3 of volume 10 (2000), distributed at the end of Februar, contains an open letter directed to the members and council of IPH, as well as a first reaction by the undersigned. A discussion page has been installed on this website and those interested in IPH and its activities are kindly invited to give their comments by filling out the form on the discussion page.

Kind regards,

Dr. Albert Elen
President of IPH

Announcing a new tour of old papermaking in China
September 2001, organized by Elaine Koretsky

Elaine Koretsky will lead a small group of intrepid paper historians and other adventure seekers through Guizhou and Zhejiang Provinces in China. The 3-week expedition will include the highlights of Elaine’s recent 3-month exhausting and exciting trip in Asia. She made a number of new discoveries in remote villages, and is delighted to share these experiences with others. Guizhou Province is one of the most undeveloped areas of China, and still yields centuries-old methods of working that have not yet been corrupted by the outside world. Among her extraordinary finds are a papermaking village whose inhabitants can trace their lineage directly back to Cai Lun; a group of villages that have cow-operated beaters; villages that use porcine or human urine in the preparation of bamboo fiber; and other areas where the papermakers form sheets by pouring pulp on moulds hanging in space. For details of this trip, contact Elaine at the Carriage House Paper Museum, 8 Evans Road, Brookline MA 02445. tel: 617-232-1636; fax: 617-277-7719; or send an e-mail

From Forests into Paper, Generation after Generation
2nd international seminar of the EU-supported
Watermark Route Program
in Finland 15-17 June 2001

After the highly successful 1st seminar held in Capellades 20-22 October last year, the 2nd seminar will be organised by the Finnish counterparts, the Kouvola Region Federation of Municipalities. The most important issue to be handled during this second seminar will be the future directions of the cooperation between paper museums and other institutions after the close of the project in 2002. IPH President Dr. Albert Elen will again be present, in order to strengthen the ties between the Watermark Route Project participants and the International Paper Historians, several of whom are active in both organisations.
The third and last seminar of this program will take place in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bergisch Gladbach (Germany) in 2002.
We'll keep you posted about further details of the programm as soon as they come available.

For more information: visit their homepage
or contact the project manager Kati Kolari

Watermarks in incunabula
Watermarks in incunabula printed in the Low Countries
presented by the Dutch Royal Library

The Dutch Royal Library started this special website on 27th September 2000. The coordinator of the project is Gerard van Thienen, curator of printed books. The site contains appr. 2700 illustrations and descriptions of watermarks found in more than 100 incunabula printed in the Netherlands before 1501.

1st seminar The Watermark Route in Capellades
big success

The first of three international seminars was organized by the Museu Moli Paperer de Capellades (Catalunya, Spain) from 20 to 22 October 2000: Paper museums and the conservation and diffusion of hand-made paper. The next seminar will be organized in Finland (see our Agenda page) next June 2001 and the third will take place in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bergisch Gladbach (Germany) in 2002.

For more information: visit their homepage

25th IPH Congress in Dortmund
big success

The 25th congress is over, the 48 participants are all home now and back to business, either in one of the area's of the paper world, or occupied with less relevant matter. A detailed report on the congress will be presented to you in due time, and for the time being you are offered photographs.

group photograph in front of the Haus der Kultur in Bergisch Gladbach on 10 September 2000

Secretary/treasurer Ludwig Ritterpusch receives the certificate of Honorary Member
from the hands of IPH-President Dr. Albert Elen
in the presence of 1st Honorary President Henk Voorn

Two group photographs of the 24th Congress of IPH in Porto (September 1998) now available: click here

Happy Birthday Basel Paper Mill!

The Basel Paper Mill commemorates the opening of its new site on September 19th, 1980, which was honoured by IPH during its Basel Congress.
A special temporary exhibition passes the past twenty years in review, and the bookbinding department has been enlarged by a special permanent exhibition of old bookbinding techniques and tools, including selected decorated papers and book covers.

Two important congresses on paper museums and paper conservation in October

International Seminar organized by the Museu Moli Paperer de Capellades, Catalunya, Spain, 20-22 October 2000: The Watermark Route. La Ruta de la Filigrana: Paper museums and the conservation and diffusion of hand-made paper
For more information: visit their homepage

European Conference on Mass deacidification in practice, organized by the European Commission on Preservation and Access (ECPA) and the State Archive of Lower Saxony in Bückeburg (Germany), 18-19 October 2000
For information and registration contact by e-mail:

Orest Nestor Matsiuk


In Memoriam by Jozef Dabrowski (Lodz, Poland)

New International Journal on the History and Conservation of the Book:


On the verge of the last century the first issue of the new six-monthly journal of the Istituto Centrale per la Patologia del Libro, named Quinio, has been published (no ISSN). This magazine takes over from the old Bollettino dell'Istituto centrale per la patologia del libro and constitutes a bid to break down the ancient barriers that still separate the history of books from the spheres linked to preservation and restoration. Needless to say, and without neglecting any of the fields of study connected with books and their history, the codicology and archaeology of manuscripts and printed books represent the natural piers of the connecting "bridge". We intend to publish a magazine that seeks to provide a tool of communication between the various sectors involved in the investigation and protection of our cultural heritage.

The editor of Quinio is Prof.Dr. Carlo Federici, director of the Istituto Centrale per la Patologia del Libro, Rome. The editorial board consists of about every authority in this field of study, including several members of IPH.

For subscriptions (Euro 51,60 per year) write to the ICPL, Via Milano 76, I-00184 Rome
or send an e-mail

Iron Gall Ink Corrosion Website

This website was initiated by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam,
in cooperation with the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage (ICN),
The National Archives (ARA)
and the European Commission of Preservation and Access (ECPA) in Amsterdam.
The site provides a wealth of information on so-called Iron Gall Ink Corrosion,
which has a disastrous effect on manuscripts and master drawings
executed with the pen or pencil and iron gall ink on paper
Central is therefore the 'Ink Corrosion Horror Show'
but (ironically) the visitor may also find recipes on how to make his/her own
iron gall ink (to make sure his/her writings or artistics expressions
on paper will not survive into the fourth millennium)

New Millennium's Greetings

A new year, a new century, a new millenium:
none of us will ever again witness such a turn in the Christian era.
How will our descendants, about 40 generations from now, look back on the millennium we are now entering: will paper by then still play a role of some significance as a bearer of information, communication, value, art and culture? Will the documents and works of art that we are so diligently trying to preserve for our offspring still be there in the year 3000 or will we entirely rely on digitalized information by then, perhaps even already before the end of the 21st century? Let us please hope not. Paper historians in particular appreciate the touch of real paper and the handwriting, printing and artistic expressions on it, a sensation which can never be substituted by digitalized images of the originals or bare information on a monitor without a physical bearer. This does not mean that we are a mere bunch of reserved traditionals clinging to the revered old material, quite on the contrary: this entirely revised website shows that we are right up to date. We exploit to the full the opportunities of modern communication through the world wide web, as well as the possibilities of digitization and computerized picture enhancement for watermark databases and their world wide distribution on CDrom as well as on internet.
However, it must be clear that computers will never replace paper as the main bearer of the world's culture. I hope the International Association of Paper Historians can contribute in stimulating the awareness of this reality.

I wish you all - members of IPH and all other friends of paper -
a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year
und einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahrtausend!

Dr. Albert J. Elen
President of IPH

Speech by the president of IPH on the occasion of
the celebration of 40 years of IPH

The speech "From Fibrespace to Cyberspace"
delivered by IPH president Dr. Albert J. Elen
in Berlin on 19 September 1999
is now available in three languages:


Second report on the IPH-expedition to China

From 10 April through 2 May a small group of IPH-members and other friends of papermaking visited China under the expert leadership of our member Elaine Koretsky, director of the Research Institute of Paper History & Technology in Brookline, Massachussetts.
Next to the report on this expedition by Dr. Albert Elen (in English) there is now also a detailed and illustrated report in German by Dieter Pothmann, which he presented with slides at the DAP Conference in Berlin on 19 September. The text will be published in the congress proceedings.

10.000 DM collected for the Paper Museum
in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland

During the IPH meeting on September 1999 in Berlin, Mrs. Bozena Makowska, director of the Paper Museum in Duszniki-Zdrój, reported on the restauration of the museum during the past 14 months since the desastrous flood which severely damaged the buildings in July 1998. On this occasion Dr. Albert Elen, president of IPH, announced that the total sum of donations by IPH members and others, generated by IPH, totalling appr. 9.000 DM will be supplemented by the IPH-Council to the round end figure of 10.000 DM. For detailed information, see the report by Mrs. Makowska.

New IPH service: Questions & Answers

Visit our new Questions & Answers page and contribute to it!

40 years of IPH

Memorial Day
celebrated on 19 September in Berlin

The former IPH presidents toasting to the art of paper making
during the 20th IPH Congress in Malmedy in 1990
from left to right: Henk Voorn (1963-74), Dr. Peter Tschudin (1988-98),
Dr. Richard Hills (1984-88) and Dr. Hans Kälin (1974-84) photographed by Dr. Albert Elen

IPH commemmorated her 40th birthday on 19 September 1999 in the German Technical Museum in Berlin, during the annual conference of the Arbeitskreis für Papiergeschichte (DAP)
IPH honorary-member Dr. Wolfgang Schlieder, one of the two surviving members from the first moment, presented an account of the early history of our association. In a speech titled From Fibrespace to Cyberspace IPH President Dr. Albert Elen reflected on the state of the profession and the direction in which he hopes the association will develop in the next millennium, stressing the important role of Internet. The text of both speeches will be published in issue 3 of the IPH bulletin, which will be published in December. The president's speech will also be published on this site later this month.

Papermaking tour to Burma and Thailand
3-24 January 2000

Carriage House Paper in Brookline (MA) announces a papermaking tour to Burma and Thailand. Elaine Koretsky will lead the expedition, exploring remote areas rich in culture, art, architecture and traditional hand crafts, untouched by modern ways. This is another world, where time stands still. The group travels by van, boat and ox-cart to visit tiny villages where extraordinary paper is still made entirely by hand processes. Final stop is the Idin Paper Mill in northern Thailand, for a four-day workshop. Participants will work with many types of indigenous plants, learning the Thai techniques of papermaking; then incorporate this with contemporary ways of working with paper as art. Required for this trip: a spirit of adventure and a sense of humor. For complete details contact Elaine by e-mail.

VAR Conference in Rotterdam on 29 October 1999
Paper: Identification, Interpretation, Description

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
Annual Conference the (Dutch) Association of Book and Paper Conservators (VAR)
on the occasion of their 35th anniversary
Papers will be delivered by several speakers, including IPH-members
Dr. Henk Porck, René Teygeler, Theo Laurentius, Dr. John Krill and Dr. Albert Elen.
Other speakers are Judy Walsh, John van Oosterom and Bob Hilderink
The discussions will be chaired by IPH-member Prof.Dr. Jos Hermans

The VAR (The Netherlands Society for Conservators for Paper, Book and Photographic Material) annually organizes a conference on various topics within the field of paper conservation. This year the conference coincides with the 30th anniversary of the society. This is one of the reasons the current topic will not only appeal to all conservators, but also to numerous professionals with an affinity with paper. In addition to conservators, national and international speakers have been invited from various fields including paper history, art history, collection keeping, industry, commerce and science.The differences between conservation and other disciplines, with concern to the description of paper, are significant. A scientist might characterize paper samples with various analytical instruments at his or her disposal whereas a paper historian would classify the type of watermark and with great precision determine the number of laid lines in the paper. An art historian might research the use of types of paper by a certain artist. The conservator depends greatly upon the expertise and research from these disciplines and uses the information on a daily basis, albeit in less specialistic manner.The main goal of this conference is to collect and exchange knowledge regarding the description and classification of paper characteristics. A second objective is to initiate closer cooperation between the different disciplines. Perhaps this could result in a first attempt to develop a common terminology. However, a closer cooperation will certainly emphazise the importance of the preservation and research of both large collections and single paper objects with cultural and historical value.Because of all these different approaches and specialities there is much to be gained from exchanging expertise. The conference will conclude with a short discussion to explore the need for a commonly used descriptive system and how to proceed with establishing such a system.The conference will take place in the auditorium of the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. The official languages for this conference are Dutch and English. The costs for attending the conference are Dfl 110. 00 for VAR members (Dfl 125.00 after October 7) and Dfl 145.00 for non-members (Dfl.160.00 after October 7). Coffee, lunch, and post prints are included.

For more information, please contact: Annie de Roover, tel. +31-76-5294441 or email:

A letter from Bozena Makowska, director
of the Paper Museum in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland

received on July 23rd,1999

Translation: the director and all employees would very much like to thank the IPH for the financial help for the reconstruction of the historic Reinerz papermill founded in the year 1605. The papermill was heavily damaged by the floods of 23 July last year. Thanks to your contributions the museum was reopened on 3 July 1999 and the production of handmade paper could be taken up again.

Catastrophe in Duszniki-Zdrój, Poland
IPH wants to help


This news item is also available in a German and French version

The historical paper-mill and paper museum in Duszniki-Zdrój (Bad Reinerz), Poland, was hit by a flood disaster in the night of 22-23 July 1998. The violent storms which claimed the lives of 8 people in the region of Duzniki destroyed the newly renovated mill up to the height of the first floor. The production workshops and printshop were flooded and silted up and the paper stores were destroyed completely.

As the museum covers 40% of the means for its maintenance and operation by selling its own hand-made paper, its continued existence is severely endangered. Not only does the enormous damage to the buildings and installations have to be repaired, but the loss of income has to be bridged and the production facilities have to be reconstructed.
In view of the importance of the paper mill in Duszniki as a paper-historical monument and as a centre for many paper-historical activities, as well as our intention to hold the IPH Congress in Duszniki in the year 2000, the IPH would like to help as quickly as possible with the reconstruction work and is therefore urgently asking all members and friends of paper history for donations to this hard hit papermill.

Donations should be paid into one of the IPH postal accounts:
For Germany or EC: Frankfurt 12-616-604
For Switzerland: Basel 40-31 640-0
All payments marked "Duszniki"

All donations will be made available in their entirety, without any deduction, to the Museum management in Duszniki-Zdrój.

Many thanks in advance for your kind generosity.


On a separate page we present two illustrations of the flooded paper mill and one illustration of the paper mill museum before the disaster
(388 + 242 + 329 kB)