Archival Office Supplies: Rhodia Notebooks

Ed. Note: Friend Lynn M. and I love French-made Rhodia notebooks (in 1997, Rhodia was acquired by my other favorite stationary company, Clairefontaine). I maintain a large personal archive of used/unused Rhodia notebooks in oddball sizes. My personal favorite is Rhodia 8, a narrow, oblong pad with gridded paper. In this Archival Clothing guest post, Lynn documents her current preference for Rhodia N° 16. To follow along, or pick your own favorite, click this link to view the full Rhodia line (but strike the metallic collection from memory).

A Notebook Fit for the Archive

My daily notebook companion is a Rhodia. My current obsession is a black covered N° 16 lined pad.

Undersized at 6″ x 8 1/4″ it fits perfectly inside any of my daily errand bags.

The top stapled cover easily folds out of my way when I want unfettered notetaking.

I rely on my Rhodia for recording things I need from the store, what I should accomplish today and any observations made in transit.

The perforated tear sheets are handy when I’m the only one with a notebook, perfect when my daughter begs for a sheet of drawing paper.

I’ve been using Rhodia notebooks for more than a decade, the smaller ones for travel and disposable jots, the more substantive wire bound books to manage projects at work. I’ve even lately become a fan of the Rhodia weekly planner.

The design of Rhodia notebooks hasn’t changed since 1932 and they are made with the original quality standards. The notebooks are still manufactured in France, in the Alsace region, an area that I have actually visited. I am charmed by the idea that I have a mental image of countryside where they are produced.

Sure, there are other notebooks worth considering, but none are as distinctive as these orange and black beauties. Rhodia notebooks are one of the constants in my life, as comforting as coffee with an old friend.

Rhodia notebooks can be easily obtained online, but check first with your local stationary shop.

I’m lucky that in Boulder, McGuckins Hardware, Two Hands Paperie and Vickerey always have Rhodia notebooks in stock.

Archival addendum:

Satchel sized Rhodia 8

Archival checklist

Linden wood and lacquered Rhodia pencil

A notebook for every size bag

6 thoughts on “Archival Office Supplies: Rhodia Notebooks”

  1. I agree, these are great pads. You should consider using a fountain pen with these notebooks. Get yourself a Parker 51 and some Noodler’s Archival Ink, you will not regret it.

    I’ve been using Field Notes notebooks lately. The paper is not as nice, but it’s plenty good and I like the style.


  2. I don’t know about Lynn but I gave up on fancy pens a few years ago. I got tired of maintaining the ink and cartridge supply and I always seemed to be staining bags, fingers and napkins with ink. Of course, fountain pens make total sense from an archival pov but I’ve switched over to lead pencils for safe daily use–Rhodias, Tombows and Ticonderoga Laddies endorsed by Rivendell:


  3. So, now I find that my collection of obscure note and bound books needs a little beefing up, and that my Red and Black notebooks and my Blue Line notebooks need some French cousins.  (For a magnificent retro look, I also like the Boorum and Pease mini record book – made in America!)

  4. …Still using Moleskine myself, I first found them in Florence and wish they were still only available there (what an excuse for a trip!) The elastic eventually goes, but the binding has never disappointed me.

    Yes, fancy pens are a chore. I recently bought several Pelikans and a Parker. All beautiful, but nearly impossible for a lefty…

  5. Just catching up on my feeds and I found this. As a fellow Boulderite I can say, man, we’re lucky to have McGuckin’s.

    Anyhow, you can get yourself a disposable Varsity fountain pen by Pilot. They’re everywhere.

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