“As we turned its pages it was hardly possible to imagine that this was anything but real parchment, written and illuminated by hand.”

Dr. Christopher de Hamel,
Fellow Librarian at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge

Monadnock Paper Mills, a family-owned paper mill in Bennington, New Hampshire, and the oldest continuously operating paper mill in the United States, is supplying the paper for the Heritage Edition of The Saint John’s Bible. It is custom-made of 100 percent cotton with no artificial whiteners or brighteners, coatings or fillers. This archival paper will last for generations.

The Benedictines of Saint John’s Abbey, who place a high value on sustainability and reverence for the earth, are also pleased with the ecological awareness of this partner. Monadnock has achieved carbon neutral status and has been actively involved in caring for their near-pristine New Hampshire environment for nearly 50 years.


Donald Jackson’s goal was to select a medium that provides a similar weight and feel to that of vellum. The museum-quality archival cotton paper was designed specifically for The Saint John’s Bible.

The long fibers unique to cotton paper make it significantly stronger than wood pulp paper. This is important because Donald Jackson defines illumination as “the play of light as you turn the page.” Exploring these volumes—with clean hands of course!—is highly recommended.

While vellum is sensitive to light and standard paper typically fades and yellows over time, the pure cotton paper used in these fine art editions are highly resistant to discoloration and deterioration.

Under Donald Jackson’s direction, the translucence of vellum was meticulously recreated on the cotton pages during the printing process.