From 1994 to 2000, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and its Institute for Standards Research (ISR) conducted a program designed to develop accelerated aging test methods that could be used to model natural aging, like light and ozone, of printing and writing paper. Lacking in the study, however, were comparisons to actual long-term natural aging.
Therefore, ASTM/ISR enlisted a group of 10 libraries/archives willing to store sets of custom-made papers for 100 years, and four research laboratories to conduct periodic testing of the papers. The role of the Library of Congress will be to remind participating libraries/archives when testing is to occur and to submit their data sheets, to conduct endurance tests of all samples sent and to store such samples.
"The Long-Term Natural Aging of Printing and Writing Papers" project began in 2000 and runs until 2098. More background on the project can be found at the Library’s Preservation Directorate.
The Preservation Directorate fosters research leading to the care of collections. This research takes many forms, ranging from scientific and forensic characterization studies to treatment developments. Many of these projects are listed on the site and include project descriptions and background information.