View Full Version : Help! Anniversary gift - Paper and ink / need suggestions

September 11th, 2018, 04:05 PM
hi guys!

I am working on a project for my one year anniversary where I am writing my husband letters for important dates and events in our lives - like our big anniversaries and similar - and so the letters need to last a long time. My last letter is meant to be opened on our 50th anniversary, so it has to last for 50 years!

The letters will be kept in a wooden box most of the time unless they are being read or reread. Right now humidity probably isnít an issue but it could be in the future.

Please link me to paper and ink products I should use for this product! I need to know what combination to use so they will last 50+ years because Iíd love for our kids to be able to keep the letters too if they want. Also, I have no fancy pen experience so keep that in mind.

Thank you!!!

September 11th, 2018, 05:01 PM
While Iím at it -

I was planning on putting these in a wooden box but Iím reading online that I might need to opt for an archival grade box. Is that necessary or something I need to look at far into the future? Can I put an archival box inside a pretty wood box? So many questions!

September 12th, 2018, 11:54 AM
Bump. Really need urgent help.

September 12th, 2018, 02:24 PM
Congrats and best of luck with your awesome project!!

I don't know much but I will try to help...

Here is a link to an FPN thread concerning the ink question to get you started.


My takeaway is modern IG ink will last at least a lifetime. For what it's worth, the inks used on various documents pertaining to my forebears, despite being written between 60-90 years ago and stored haphazardly, remain quite legible.

One consideration is lightfastness. Some colored inks will fade considerably in a short time. So I would go black. Waterproof ink would be a good idea too. Just in case.

It seems pH of paper and ink might be worth considering. Unfortunately I have no idea what would be the long term impact of a wood box for archival purposes.

I know there are carbon inks with extremely fine (nano) particles that won't clog the fountain pen feed or nib.

I don't know if deAtramentis Document inks would work but they are very waterproof from my testing and come in various colors. I use document violet.

Diamine makes iron gall inks in black, blue, and blue-black (I use the latter for checks). KWZ makes IG inks.

September 12th, 2018, 02:31 PM
PS: also take a look at Noodler's Heart of Darkness and 54th Massachusetts, touted as archival, lightfast, water resistant, etc. I've not used either yet.

September 12th, 2018, 05:17 PM
Thank you! I had actually contacted Iowa State and their library about the issue and they said that they use Sakura Micron pens which is what I had been looking at, so I am happy with that - will that be a permanent ink? On their website it says it will last 100 years. I've also decided to just go ahead and go with an archival box while I am at it, since it's about what I would spend on any other kind of box.

So, now I am really stuck on paper! Iowa state suggested that archival grade resume paper might be good, but the only two brands I really see that meet that requirement are southworth and strathmore, but southworth says it is made from recycled materials. So I'm really stuck there!

September 12th, 2018, 08:30 PM
If they say it will last 100 years I doubt you have anything to worry about on that front. I have a set of micron pens. Art pens like these are intended to create very permanent, very long-lived artwork.

I suggest going to an art store for input, too. If it were up to me I would use acid free drawing paper and a micron pen. You can get it in various textures and colors.

September 13th, 2018, 12:06 PM
Thanks for the paper suggestion. I am really leaning towards sputhworth resume
Paper despite the obnoxious watermark because itís 100% cotton and Strathmore is only 25% cotton. Im not opposed to artist paper just didnít find any 100% cotton. The Iowa state contact said it was a reputable brand. Does anyone know of any reason I shouldnít use this paper or if there is a significantly better paper out there?