Writing Wednesday: Archival paper and inks

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cookbook page scan original

Fading ink in an old cookbook

The other day I was looking through the journals I wrote when my kids were babies and toddlers. To my dismay, I noticed the ink is already starting to fade just a few years later. I was smart enough to use acid-free paper, but very stupidly wrote in ball-point pen. I’m going to have to re-write those pages in archival inks if I want to read them years from now.

Something I’ve always appreciated about Quo Vadis planners and notebooks is they use acid-free paper (which is good for archiving). But even the best paper won’t hold the writing if the ink is bad.

For awhile I used Sakura Micron pens because the ink is archival, but the tip doesn’t make for the most comfortable writing experience if I’m writing a lot. I switched a couple of years ago to Uni-ball Signo RT rollerball pens because they are comfortable to write with and have “super-ink” which is designed to resist solvents and fading. However, I don’t know if they are truly archival.

What archival pens/ inks do you recommend?

6 thoughts on “Writing Wednesday: Archival paper and inks

  1. According to JetPens, Uniball Signo is archival (especially the BLX line), along with Pilot G2, at least some of the Sakura Gelly Roll pens and Zebra Sarasa, and a number of others. They have a category for it on their site. I’m not completely sure that absence from that category means that something *isn’t* archival — it might just be out of stock or something they don’t carry, so I’d check that too.

  2. I own the Uni-ball Signo RT pens too and so far they haven’t faded looking at my old notes 2-4 years ago on cheap paper but at the same time I don’t really keep them open or in direct sunlight. It’s a good value as they are only $3.50 each.

  3. I have a notebook which my parents used to record the rent they paid on an apartment in Sliema Malta way back in 1938 when he was stationed there in the Royal Navy.

    I guess that dates to before specialist in inks and branded paper?

    My Dad always used a fountain pen then as ballpoints/feltips and so on had not been invented and,in my childhood we always seemed to have a big bottle of Parkers’ Blue Black Quink in the house. But at junior school we had black powder that had to be mixed with water each morning as we used it to practice joined up writing [cursive]using our ‘dip-pens’. We also had ‘mapping pens and Indian Ink’ for special work.

    Anyway, that 77 year old notebook has slightly yellowed pages, but the writing is as dark and clear and legible as you could wish.

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