Date: September 8, 1995
TO: Heads of Federal agencies
SUBJECT: Procurement of writing, copying, and printing papers for Federal records
a. Papers used for most documents and publications since the mid-nineteenth century were highly acidic. The acid in these papers greatly accelerates their deterioration and is a principal threat to our documentary heritage. In the past, the cost of acid-free papers was generally prohibitive. In recent years, the pursuit of inexpensive papermaking techniques has resulted in an increasing replacement of acidic pulps with more economical alkaline pulps. Fortunately, the alkaline process also extends paper life by many decades.
b. Public Law 101-423, A Joint Resolution to Establish a National Policy on Permanent Papers, establishes as the policy of the United States that Federal records, books, and publications of enduring value be produced on acid-free permanent papers. The Joint Resolution further recommends that Federal agencies require the use of acid-free permanent paper for publications of enduring value produced by the Government Printing Office or by Federal grant or contract, using the specifications for such paper established by the Joint Committee on Printing; and that agencies require the use of archival quality acid-free papers for permanently valuable Federal records and confer with NARA on the requirements for paper quality.
c. Executive Order 12873, "Federal Recycling, Acquisition, and Use of Environmentally Preferable Products and Services," section 504, and EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (60FR21386) establishes minimum percentages for recovered waste and post-consumer waste for printing and writing papers. Although many permanent and alkaline papers contain a significant percentage of recycled material, most do not meet the percentages specified by the E.O. and EPA's guidance. However, sections 502(2) and 504(1) of the E.O. authorize agencies to select papers that do not meet content percentages when available items fail to meet reasonable performance standards.
b. Generic paper. Paper without a specified pH or alkaline reserve. Longevity of generic paper varies and is uncertain. Many last for 50 to 100 years.
c. Permanent paper. Paper that will last for several hundred years without significant deterioration under normal use and storage conditions. Permanent paper grades are groundwood-free with a pH of 7.5 or above, an alkaline reserve of 2% or more, and other strength or performance properties that guarantee the use and retention of records generated on this paper for a maximum period of time.
b. Because it is difficult to distinguish between permanent, alkaline, and generic papers, or to determine at the moment of creation how long a document will be maintained, agencies may choose to stock only one type of paper grade in individual office units (or agency-wide) for routine use in photocopiers, laser printers, telefacsimile equipment, etc.
c. Publications intended for long-term use in a paper format by many recipients, such as those that are placed in multiple Federal, State, and local government depositories' core collections in libraries and offices, should be created on permanent or alkaline paper. Generic paper is suitable for mass publications such as press releases and telephone directories; however, if the record set of a publication has long-term value, a file copy should be created by:
d. NARA also suggests the following techniques to reduce paper consumption and/or waste:
a. In recent years, the cost of permanent paper was two to four times more than generic paper and the cost of alkaline paper was one-third more than generic paper. However, a recent survey showed only a 5% difference between comparable permanent, alkaline, and generic xerographic paper grades with the permanent paper grade costing the least. Agencies should, on a continuing basis, check and compare prices. If, at a given time, there is a significant cost difference between permanent, alkaline, and generic paper grades, NARA will work with agencies to identify specific series of permanently valuable records that can be created on permanent paper without excessive cost.
b. Unless authorized by the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP), Federal departments, establishments and services in the District of Columbia must procure blank paper, including writing, copying, and printing papers through GPO in accordance with 44 U.S.C. 1121. Locations outside of the Washington metropolitan area should procure paper through normal supply channels such as the Government Printing Office (GPO) and the Federal Supply Service of the General Services Administration (GSA) in accordance with the Federal Information Resources Management Regulation (FIRMR) bulletin B-4.
c. Attached is a complete list of all JCP specified alkaline and permanent paper grades, including GSA National Stock Numbers (NSN) when available. The JCP standard specifications are available in the "Government Paper Specification Standards, No. 10" on a subscription basis through the Superintendent of Documents. For purchases and further information, customers may contact GPO's Chief, Paper and Materials Control Section at 202-512-0208, FAX 202-512-1569 and GSA's Procurement and Contracting Office at 212-264-3252, FAX 212-264-4920.
JOHN W. CARLING
Archivist of the United States
Following is the complete list of all permanent and alkaline paper grades specified by the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP) which are available from the Government Printing Office (GPO). Compatible General Services Administration (GSA) National Stock Numbers (NSN) are also listed.
The list begins with permanent and alkaline papers especially well-suited for routine use in laser printers and high speed xerographic copiers since most Federal records result from these processes. Annotations helpful to the average user are offered.
For prices and further information, customers, may contact: GPO's Chief, Paper and Materials Control Section at 202-512-0208, FAX 202-512-1569 and GSA's Procurement and Contracting Office at 212-264-3252, FAX 212-264- 4920.
1. GSA NSN 7530-01-398-2656 25% Bond, White, 20lb., 8-1/2"x11" (meets JCP G40). Meets recovered and postconsumer materials percentages cited in Executive Order 12873, Federal Recycling, Acquisition, and Use of Environmentally Preferable Products and Services.
2. GSA NSN 7530-01-398-2654 Plain Copier, Xerographic, White, 20 lb., 8-1/2"x11" (meets JCP O60)
3. GSA NSN 7530-01-398-2655 Plain Copier, Xerographic, White, 20 lb., 8-1/2"x14" (meets JCP O60)
4. JCP G40-Option A, 25% Bond, White and Colored. For stationery, forms, legal documents, ledgers, etc. which are used in high speed photocopiers, laser printers, plain paper telefacsimile machines, and impact-type computer printers and with pen or pencil. Above average performance for two-sided copying and erasing quality. Watermarked with U.S. seal, year, and recycled symbol.
5. JCP G60-Option A, Opacified Bond, White and Buff. Greater opacity than G40. Uses and watermark same as G40.
6. JCP O60-Option A, Pain Copier, Xerographic, White, Natural, and Colored. For high speed photocopiers, laser printers, and plain paper telefacsimile machines.
7. GSA NSN 7530-01-398-2652 Recycled Plain Copier, Xerographic, White, 20 lb., 8-1/2"x11" (meets JCP O65). Meets recovered and postconsumer materials percentages cited in Executive Order 12873, Federal Recycling, Acquisition, and Use of Environmentally Preferable Products and Services.
8. GSA NSN 7530-01-398-2653 Recycled Plain Copier, Xerographic, White, 20 lb., 8-1/2"x14" (meets JCP O65). Meets recovered and postconsumer materials percentages cited in Executive Order 12873, Federal Recycling, Acquisition, and Use of Environmentally Preferable Products and Services.
9. JCP O65, Recycled Pain Copier, Xerographic (when ordering from GPO, request special alkaline modification). For high speed photocopiers, laser printers, and plain paper telefacsimile machines.
10. JCP A270 Uncoated Permanent Book, White, and Cream White. For two-sided offset printing of books, pamphlets, maps, etc.
11. JCP H30-Option A, Imitation Parchment, Laser-Finish, White and Colored. For high-quality offset printing of certificates, etc. Suitable for line illustrations and embossing. The 24 pound weight can be used in photocopiers and laser printers.
12. JCP A60-Option A, Offset Book (w/postconsumer material content). For two-sided printing of books, catalogs, folders, etc. The 80 pound weight is suitable for posters. Contains a minimum of 20% postconsumer material.
13. JCP A61-Option A, No. 1 Offset Book, Smooth-Finish. For highest quality two-sided offset printing.
14. JCP A75-Option A, Light Weight Offset Book (Bible Paper).
15. JCP A80-Option A, Opacified Offset Book.
16. JCP A90-Option A, Vellum-Finished Book.
17. JCP A180-Option A, Litho (Gloss) Coated Book. For high quality offset printing of books, periodicals, maps, etc.
18. JCP A240-Option A, Matte Coated Offset Book.
19. JCP A260-Option A, Dull Coated Offset Book. For high quality reproduction of satellite and high-altitude imagery as well as offset printing of books, maps, etc.
20. JCP F10-Option A, Manifold, White and Colored. For one-sided offset printing of multicopy forms and correspondence that are used in typewriters and with pen or pencil.
21. JCP J10-Option A, Ledger, White, and Colored. For two-sided offset printing of forms, ledgers, posters, etc.
22. JCP K10-Option A, Index, White and Colored. For two-sided printing of cards, forms, notices, posters, covers, etc. that are used in typewriters and with pen or pencil.
23. JCP L10-Option A, Litho (Gloss) Coated Cover, White and India Tint. Uses same as A180, but as a cover paper.
24 JCP L20-Option A, Vellum-Finish Cover, White and Colored.
25. JCP L23-Option A,Offset Cover.
26. JCP L50-Option A, Matte Coated Cover.
27. JCP L60-Option A, Dull Coated Cover.
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