The significance and value of this research is likely to be different for various visitors to the site. Its meaning for the principal investigator resides not so much in the new information revealed about paper history, paper stability and early materials and workmanship. It is manifest, instead, in the black dots in the plots. Each represents a paper mill and within it, a rag sorting room, a vat or vats, and a drying loft. Most important-- each dot brings to life a group of craftspeople-- men, women and children, many of whom spent their lives making paper. And they in turn stand for all the artisans around the world who made every sheet of paper ever used, for 1,800 years, until the paper machine was invented. Without them, the human record would be a wisp of what it is today. It is these individuals that this research honors and celebrates.

T. Barrett, July 23, 2011

Cite as: . “Afterword.” Paper through Time: Nondestructive Analysis of 14th- through 19th-Century Papers. The University of Iowa. Last modified . .