Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2018

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 07/03/2020

Degree Name

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)

Degree In

Book Arts

First Advisor

Barrett, Timothy

First Committee Member

Barrett, Timothy

Second Committee Member

Leonard, Julie

Third Committee Member

Moreton, Melissa

Fourth Committee Member

Tachau, Katherine H


This paper examines the establishment of papermaking in Central Asia in the 7th to 8th century CE. Additionally, it examines the historical and contemporary status of papermaking in Uzbekistan based on primary sources gathered during a research trip, and historical sources. Both textual research and experimental papermaking research were conducted for this paper.

Designed as a foundation for further study, this paper includes early textual sources mentioning papermaking, information gathered from interviews, personal observations, and maps highlighting areas of importance.

The first part surveys the development of the discussion surrounding the establishment of the craft in the region. By combining early and contemporary research and highlighting and discussing new sources, possible scenarios of the establishment of papermaking in Central Asia are further investigated.

Pursuing this line of inquiry, the paper provides a full overview of the history and development of the different papermaking regions of Uzbekistan, following a detailed description of the tradition in the city of Kokand based on first-hand accounts from the early 20th century.

The second part of this paper includes a description of the author’s process of recreating historical tools, techniques and paper based on data and information gathered during the research trip as well as information drawn from historical sources. In addition, the author explores different theories such as the debate about which raw materials were used, and hypotheses regarding the development of the paper mould.


Central Asia, Islamicate, Paper, Papermaking, Talas, Uzbekistan


vi, 78 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 75-78).


Copyright © 2018 Johan Solberg