The museum's permanent exhibition traces the fascinating history of papermaking from its earliest antecedents through the advanced thechology of today-- from ancient Sumerian cuneiform tablets and Egyptian papyrus scrolls to the watermarked papers of Italy to the high-tech machinery of the modern paper industry.
"From Hand to Machine: The Evolution of Papermaking", is featured in the George W. Mead Paper Education Center. The exhibit details the evolution of science and technology in papermaking, showcasing artifacts from the 1300s to paper made in space aboard the space shuttle Columbia.
Museum founder Dard Hunter traveled around the world investigating and documenting hand papermaking techniques and traditions. The results of his travels were distilled into books which introduced audiences to the world of paper. Hunter wrote twenty books on papermaking, eight of which are wholly hand made.