Archival or museum papers are made with a fiber source, such as 100% cotton rag, that will last for centuries without conservation. Acid-free papers, based on cellulose fiber, will eventually yellow as their buffering is exhausted, depending on atmospheric conditions where they are stored and displayed. Although conservation is possible, their lifespan without conservation should be measured in decades, not centuries.
Because digital art is ultimately preserved in a digital format, not on paper, the expense of a museum paper is not always necessary. Under good conditions, with archival grade inks and proper storage and display, acid-free cellulose papers can last more than 20 years. Some of these papers offer special coatings to enhance the display of fine detail at high resolution. Digital storage of image masters allows new copies to be made at a future date.