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Life expectancy of the written word

Do you write on acid-free, archival quality paper only? What kinds of pens do you use - archival or just whatever pens? Furthermore, might any of you know how long regular ballpoint pen ink lasts if it's not subjected to light? (For those who care, there is a post in this thread with a list of permanent ballpoint ink pens a little way down: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-32734.html posted by ballpointpenart.)

I'm afraid I've written all of my diaries thus far on paper whose quality I know nothing of. I've also used lots of ballpoint pens and... eh, I feel like I should copy the last few diaries (where my life started to get more interesting) for preservation! I've been trying to find information on how long non-acid-free non-archival quality paper lasts, but basically - it all depends on the manufacturing (which is a question mark) and how you keep it, so no help there.

To make things more difficult, I have a dozen blank books that I have made, all of them with paper without any information about said paper's life expectancy. And a couple of really lovely bought ones without any information, not even the name of the manufacturer, not to mention four gorgeous blank journals from India with handmade paper. And now I feel like I should take out the pages from these 20 or so journals and rebind them all. Sigh. Damn it.

My journals don't need to last 500 years but I would like at least 100 years. I want to read them when I'm old, and then hide them in an airtight, long-lasting box somewhere for someone to find them long after I'm gone. 100 years isn't even long enough for that, really.

(x-posted to jr_nal)



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 3rd, 2013 05:52 pm (UTC)
paper and ink
I have diaries going back 35 years and most of what I wrote is still visible-I have noticed blue ink fades over time-many years ago I started using black ink when writing in my diary. Those diaries written in black have not faded. I would not write a diary in pencil.

I have always used plain wide ruled filler paper for years-3-hole. For the last several years I used Staples filler paper and Staples OptiFlow liguid rollerpens/black when writing in my diary.

I keep my diaries in big plastic bins down in the lower level of our house. Keep your diaries in a dry place and I think they should last for a 100 years.

I would not write a diary with a fountain pen because most paper soaks up the words.
Aug. 3rd, 2013 09:51 pm (UTC)
Some of mine are more that 50 years old and they're still here.
Fate governs what will survive.
A woman wrote on plain scrap paper in the 18th century. They survived.
Others lost everything - fire, flood, and people who don't care.
Put them in a safe place.
Don't worry. Enjoy your life.
Aug. 4th, 2013 02:14 am (UTC)
Yea, I really don't worry about the supplies I use in terms if saving things. I think what is more important is storage. And even then? Just don't let it drown of burn. *shrug* We have journals, letters, and books from hundreds of years ago, and they weren't worrying about using acid-free, "long-lasting" ink. I mean, just think of the Dead Sea scrolls!!
Aug. 9th, 2013 07:27 pm (UTC)
I use Pilot G2s primarily, which, as far I know, are just 'whatever' pens. I don't use acid-free paper either.

I don't mean to seem careless about it - believe me, my journals are meant to last - but regular paper lasts a long time too, and I like the notebooks I use, ya know? I do my best (and a pretty good job!) without getting crazy with my supplies.

My advice? Don't waste the time copying. Just improve what you want to improve from here on out. I wouldn't be tooooo concerned, really. Look at the documents that have survived through history. They're still pulling paper documents out of the wreck of the Titanic!

Don't worry too much. I would use what you have and then go from there. How you keep things really matters, and how often/how they're handled, etc. I am someone who preaches almost daily about leaving a legacy in my journals, and I have faith that they will hold up at LEAST 100 years. At least! Paper and ink are far, far more resilient than we think, and frankly, I think that archival materials are a little bit of a cash cow compared to the benefits. I use cheap hardback notebooks from Barnes and Noble and who knows where they're from? lol

Please don't worry! Keep moving forward with your new lessons learned/thoughts!

Side note: It's nice to hear that you have that goal! I have the exact same goal for my journals!

Edited at 2013-08-09 07:32 pm (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )