Acid-free paper

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Permalife® bond paper
Credit: University Products


Paper that contains no free acids, thus providing greater permanence and durability. The paper is typically produced from Cotton linters, rags, Esparto grass, or Chemical wood pulp which minimizes the potential for acid and/or Lignin in the pulp. Acid-free paper may also contain a buffering material to maintain a PH in the neutral to slightly alkaline range. This helps scavenge any acidic materials formed by bleaching residues, sizes, degradation products, or air pollutants.

See also Alkaline reserve.

Synonyms and Related Terms

acid free paper; archival paper; Permalife paper; lignin-free paper; permanent paper; zuurvrij paper (Ned.); papier exempt d'acide (Fr.); säurefrei (Deut.); säurefreies Papier (Deut.); carta non acida (It.); carta esente da acidi (It.); papel exento de ácido (Esp.); papel sin ácido (Esp.); syrafritt papper (Sven.)


Personal Risks

Collection Risks

Links to Oddy Test results posted on AIC Wiki Materials Database Pages for individual materials below

° Conservation By Design Acid-Free Tissue Paper Tested in 2009

° Acid Free White Paper Tested in 2009

° Conservation By Design Acid Free Tissue Paper Tested in 2009

Environmental Risks

Physical and Chemical Properties

Working Properties

Forms and Sizes


Common Types of Paper

Resources and Citations

  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • A Glossary of Paper Conservation Terms, Margaret Ellis (ed.), Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York City, 1998
  • Marjorie Shelley, The Care and Handling of Art Objects, The Metropolitan Museum, New York, 1987
  • Book and Paper Group, Paper Conservation Catalog, AIC, 1984, 1989
  • Silvie Turner, Which Paper?, Design Press, New York, 1991