How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement
copyright Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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About the Dictionary
Using the Dictionary

Basis Size for Paper

In the U.S. paper industry, measurements of paper density and weight are based on traditional sheet sizes which vary with the type of paper. These standard sheet specifications have persisted, even though in many cases sheets of those sizes are no longer manufactured. Paper is described as, say, 24 pound weight if one ream (500 sheets) cut in the basis size would have a mass of 24 pounds.

The following basis size information is taken from Matt Roberts and Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the conservation of books: a dictionary of descriptive terminology. This reference, published by the U.S. government and not copyrighted, has been posted online by Stanford University.

Type of paper Size (in inches) Bible 25 X 38 Blanks 22 X 38 Blotting 19 X 24 Bond 17 X 22 Book 25 X 38 Cover 20 X 26 Glassine 24 X 36 Gummed 25 X 38 Index 25 1/2 X 30 1/2 Ledger 17 X 22 Manifold 17 X 22 Manuscript 18 X 31 Mimeograph 17 X 22 Newsprint 24 X 36 Offset 25 X 38 Onionskin 17 X 22 Opaque 25 X 38 Poster 24 X 36 Tag 22 1/2 X 28 1/2 or 24 X 36 Text 25 X 38 Tissues 24 X 36 Vellum bristol 22 1/2 X 28 1/2 Writing 17 X 22



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All material in this folder is copyright © 2001 by Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Permission is granted for personal use and for use by individual teachers in conducting their own classes. All other rights reserved. You are welcome to make links to this page, but please do not copy the contents of any page in this folder to another site. The material at this site will be updated from time to time.

May 31, 2001