[Beowulf] Re: Interesting

Bill Rankin Bill.Rankin at sas.com
Fri Oct 29 07:22:04 PDT 2010

> "Robert G. Brown" <rgb at phy.duke.edu> wrote:
> > I've lost stories I've
> > written on paper, and a really cool poem that I wrote with a pen popular
> > in the 70's that turned out to have ink that faded to clear over 20
> > year, with or without the help of ambient UV.  I have spiral notebooks
> > from graduate school with barely visible orange lines that might or
> > might not once have been figures and words and equations.

Something to be said for the simple pencil.  As long as you don't smudge it too much, carbon tends to hang onto its molecular structure pretty well over time. :-)

I guess that we don't think too much these days about the archival properties of paper and pen, simply because it's seemingly so much more stable than the various computer formats.  I wonder how resistant to aging modern printer/copier paper is versus its older equivalent?  I know for example that newspaper quality went way down in the latter half of the last century to where copies of pre-WWII vintage editions survived much better than stuff out of the 60s and 70s, which deteriorated very quickly.

I tend to make lots of hand-written notes and have several fountain pens I use.  There are several brands of archival-class inks available and much debate over which ones are "best".  Because of their nature they tend to be difficult to use and a mess to clean up which is not something that makes for a good general-use consumer product.


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