April 1, 2021: Start of the collaborative research project funded by the German Research Foundation Prediction of optical radiation-induced damage of white paper in cultural heritage preservation. The three-year project in collaboration with the Rathgen-Forschungslabor and the Kupferstichkabinett at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin focusses on the effect of light on the color changes experienced by historical and selected modern white paper and the significance of white paper substrates in microfading testing (MFT).
Selected laboratory-prepared papers with noted ingredients after different accelerated thermal and light aging exposures (senior study project/photograph by Jana Müller, 2017)
We had our first kick-off meeting on April 19, 2021, with partners from the Rathgen Forschungslabor (RF) and the Kupferstichkabinett Berlin (KK), both at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, and the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Dresden (HfBK) and the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart (abk) (left to right, top to bottom): Thomas Prestel (HfBK), Ute Henniges (abk), Fabienne Meyer (KK), Irene Brückle (abk), Marie Kern (abk), Stefan Röhrs (RF), Dagmar Korbacher (KK), Georg J. Dietz (KK), Giulia Vannucci (RF); Mario Röhrle (abk, not shown).
We have been searching out old fabrics that would be suitable for the lab production of paper sheets mimicking historic handmade paper. Here is a set of unused linen and cotton fabrics dated from the first part of the 20th century and therefore free of optical brighteners.
top: visible light, bottom: UVA

The procedures of sheet production have undergone testing after selected fabrics were prepared by Gangolf Ulbricht, Berlin, to achieve a pulp quality appropriate for our research.

Top row: moist pulp weighted, dispersing a pulp sample, checking the pulp dispersion; bottom row: sheet formation, water drainage, couching; right: first set of paper samples
For our second paper sample set intended to mimic 19th to early 20th century industrial papers, we received wo lots of sulfate cooked pulp from hardwood with significant lignin content (left) and low lignin content (right).