Early modern paper, formed from the fibers of recycled linen rags, captured the imagination of early modern writers, translators, and readers. Drawing on paper's material properties and history, seventeenth‐century chymists — including Thomas Tymme, Michael Maier, and Otto Tachenius — repeatedly imagine papermaking as a chymical purification in order to claim paper as a chymical invention. In doing so, these chymists seek to demonstrate their art's centrality to early modern knowledge production, circulation, and preservation. At the same time, by imagining papermaking as chymistry, these writers probe the boundaries of art and nature, the mechanical and liberal arts, and the ordinary and alchemical. Further, because of readers’ familiarity and proximity to linen and paper, the material book offered proof of chymistry's usefulness, grounded in the tacit knowledge of daily experience.

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