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International Association of Paper Historians

The 30th IPH Congress of the International Association of Paper Historians

President’s biennial report

Dear members and friends of paper history,

In 2008 the 29th IPH congress took place in Stockholm and Uppsala in the most wonderful Scandinavian spring with blue sky and warm sunshine. The congress was hosted and organized by the Nordic Association of Paper Historians NPH. I must congratulate and express my warmest admiration for the excellent cooperation between Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark As a member for many years of both NPH and IPH I felt very happy for the excellent possibility of creating this contact at the congress between members of the two associations, because I know how important it is to meet each other and create new contacts.

As IPH congress coordinator together with Göran Wohlfahrt I learned how well the Finnish and Swedish teamwork functioned in organization of the congress and in obtaining the necessary financial support for the congress from three Swedish foundations within paper industry. All threads were gathered and connected, felted together as fibres in a vat to the IPH congress formation during intense correspondence, meetings in Stockholm and in Eupen, most kindly hosted here by Alphonse Radermecker. Guidelines and deadlines for contributions from the speakers were strictly organized by Jan-Erik Levlin in Finland and followed by the authors; therefore the IPH congress book 2008 was finished in spring 2009 at the same time as the IPH congress book 2006 from Spain. We could not have chosen a better way to start the celebration of the 50th IPH anniversary 2009 than with these two publications.

I was elected as new IPH president at the General Assembly 2008 in Stockholm and since then two council meetings have been held in Eupen. The planning of the IPH congress 2010 was one of the important topics at the agenda. At the first meeting Dr. Claire Bustarret participated as one of the two new congress coordinators from AFHEPP, Association Française pour l’Histoire et l’Étude du Papier et des Papeteries. The president of AFHEPP, Dr. Denis Peaucelle informed at the second council meeting 2009 in Eupen about the rich program and the continued planning of the congress. Today we know that all plans have successfully been effectuated.

Another subject of importance for the council in 2008 was the decision to revive the IPH periodical Paper History. The need for the periodical had already been clearly expressed by the IPH members at the General Assembly 2006 in Spain. The paper periodical is a crucial link between all IPH members, and all other people with interest in paper history can find the periodical at the libraries. With united support from all our delegates as co-editors the first issue appeared in spring 2009 – our jubilee year of IPH and electronically as well on our web-site. As the new editor of the periodical I am most grateful for all the contributions that I have received from authors of their articles and information from our co-editors of national activities. Together with the IPH web-site we have all possibilities for a fruitful communication and debate, but the best thing is of course to meet each other.

Many interesting meetings and exhibitions take place every year and it would be a full time job to cover them all. I did manage in 2009 to participate in the beginning of the German DAP meeting in Celle and Lachendorf, in the last part of the British BAPH meeting in Bath as well as the Scandinavian NPH meeting in Silkeborg. It is a fruitful experience to meet each other at national meetings, if possible.

In spite of the financial crisis and climate changes I feel a growing interest in paper history. Since 2008 two new associations have been born, and this year they have both organized their first international congress. As president of IPH I was invited in May 2010 to present a paper and open the congress in Budapest, organized by HPW, the association of Hungarian Paper and Watermark History. In October we are gathered in Angoulême at the 30th IPH congress, organized by AFHEPP, Association Française pour l’Histoire et l’Étude du Papier et des Papeteries. During these two years we have received new members of IPH, some institutions have cancelled their membership and we have lost two members – Professor Conor Fahy from United Kingdom died early in 2009 and Õie Utter from Estonia died in February 2010. They will remain blessed in our memory and we will miss them.

The planning of the celebration of the 50 years’ IPH jubilee in connection with the 30th congress in Angoulême took place during the council meetings in Eupen and it has been most successfully effectuated by our AFHEPP organizers. Martin Cuppen’s creation of a jubilee watermark on handmade paper for this event illustrates the origin of papermaking as a still living craft. New Watermark studies and watermark history, new research in databases of watermarks continue together with the studies of the technological development of the papermaking craft and how to preserve our written heritage on paper. Recent negotiations concerning proposals for the coming IPH congresses in 2012, 2014 and 2016 have not yet resulted in clear agreements, but in spite of the difficult financial situation everywhere it is my hope, that we soon will know where to meet each other again at the IPH congress 2012. I wish you all inspiring studies in your field of paper history and look forward to a continuation of interesting contribution to our periodical IPH Paper History.

Anna-Grethe Rischel

Download report as a pdf-file: President biennial report - IPH 2010 - UK (23 kB)

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