Georgia Tech paper museum opens new exhibit to trace the evolution of papermaking

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Georgia Tech paper museum opens new exhibit to trace the evolution of papermaking

January 27, 2011 - 05:06

ATLANTA, GA, Jan. 26, 2011 (Press Release) -The Robert C. Williams Paper Museum on the campus of Georgia Tech will unveil a new guided tour in February, 2011. Paper in Our World will allow visitors to trace the evolution of papermaking from plants and recycled rags to the discovery of trees as a source of fibers for paper. Participants will learn about the benefits of using trees to create paper and examine the process of recycling. They'll also study the issues of global warming and the important role that recycling, sustainability practices and current research play in solving global environmental problems. Each student will make a sheet of paper from cotton pulp. Guided tours are $8.50 per person and must be reserved in advance. The tour is ideal for students in grades 1-12, and adult groups are also welcome. Tours are offered Mondays-Fridays at 10 a.m., and the museum is wheelchair accessible.

The new tour will coincide with a new permanent exhibit in the Green Gallery opening Jan. 27, 2011, also titled Paper in Our World. It will include displays focusing on recycling and sustainability as well as the reinterpretation of paper and papermaking artifacts to focus on green issues and relevance. The exhibit will be included in the new guided tour.

"Paper is something most of us take for granted," said Fran Rottenberg, the museum's education curator. "However, the history of papermaking is fascinating. Beginning in ancient China, paper gave people a new way of communicating across the world and across the centuries. Today, innovations in papermaking are focused on conservation and sustainability. It's as interesting today as it was thousands of years ago. I love introducing children and adults to the topic and since the museum hosts changing exhibits of paper art, beautiful books and works from paper artists around the world, there's always something new to see."

About the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum

The Robert C. Williams Paper Museum on the Georgia Tech campus houses the world's most extensive collection of paper and papermaking artifacts. Visitors can see early materials used as writing surfaces such as bark books from Sumatra, clay tablets from Mesopotamia, parchment and vellum from Europe, Tibetan books made of palm leaves and Egyptian papyrus. Interactive exhibits demonstrate modern papermaking techniques. Changing exhibits from current papermaking artists are featured throughout the year.

The museum is open Monday- Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Regular admission is free, but a donation of $3 for adults and $2 for children is suggested. Guided group tours are offered Monday - Friday at 10 a.m. for school groups as well as for adults. Guided tours must be scheduled in advance. There are three tour options:

  • Paper Travel - which traces the history of papermaking from its invention in ancient China to the sophisticated paper technology of today
  • Paperworks! - which includes the "Paper Travel tour" and a hands-on papermaking experience in the museum's classroom.
  • Paper in our World, the newest tour, which traces the evolution of papermaking and examines issues including global warming, sustainability practices and current research. Participants make a sheet of paper to take home.

All tour participants have the opportunity to visit the current exhibit at the museum. Tours range from $5.50 - $8.50 per person and may be scheduled by calling 404-894-5726, or

The museum is located at 500 10th Street, NW, Atlanta, GA, 30318. For more information, call 404/894-7840 or