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FEATURES: 3

Kim Berman, Associate Professor Visual Art (FADA, UJ), Founder of Phumani Paper and the PRDU

The Phumani Archival Paper Mill @UJ

Phumani The Paper Research and Development Unit (PRDU) at the University of Johannesburg in association with Phumani Paper (Section 21), an organisation that set up papermaking projects across South Africa, has established an archival papermaking mill that is dedicated to developing the capacity to research, design and produce permanent and archival papers for conservation and creative purposes.

The Archive Mill@UJ, launched on the Doornfontein Campus of the University of Johannesburg in November 2005, with support from the Department of Arts and Culture’s investing in Heritage Division and the South African National Archives, is an emerging enterprise and research unit that contributes to community development and economic empowerment of five Phumani Paper enterprises. The unit conducts research into the use of special plant fibres for the production archival papers that meets the quality standards required by the conservation sector.

The Archive Mill@UJ currently produces 100% acid-free archival paper for the conservation, heritage and art industries. The highly skilled team of papermakers and artists have also developed new product ranges of archival storage folders, boxes and craft products. In addition the Archive Mill@UJ offers collaborative opportunities to visual artists and provides training and skills transfer to students and community enterprises. The aim of the unit is to become a centre of excellence for research and production in archival handmade papers in Africa.

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