Many people seem to think that acid-free paper and archival papers are the same thing, but that is in fact wrong!
Acid-free papers are made with the same technology that make alkaline paper, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they are the same. By using the same technology, it means that the pH of the pulp which is used to form the paper is above 7 (neutral) on the scale. A protective coating of an alkaline reserve is then put on to the paper e.g. calcium carbonate. This neutralizes the acid compounds absorbed from the atmosphere or through natural aging.
In regards to archival paper, there are no universal standards which states what makes it ‘archival.’ However, there are obvious properties such as being acid-free, should contain no groundwood or unbleached pulp, meet strict limits on metallic content, and be free from optical brighteners which are used to whiten the sheet.
The Navigator Company states that all its papers comply with the standard ISO 9706:1994: “Paper which during long term storage in libraries, archives and other protected environments will undergo little or no change in properties that affect use. Paper which complies with this International Standard is expected to remain substantially unchanged for several hundred years. Permanent papers can be considered as acid free.”
These particular products are: Envirocopy, Discovery, Inacopia, Navigator