The association of water with cellulose is of significant technological importance. It forms the basis for the manufacturability of paper and ultimately controls, either directly or indirectly, mechanical, electrical, thermal, and optical properties. Differential scanning calorimetry has been used to characterize moisture transitions in these materials. Total bound water contents have been determined. Specific transitions for the model system, cotton linters, have been identified including free water incorporation point (0.05 g/g), total bound water (0.18 g/g), and fiber saturation point (0.05 g/g). Results are compared to those found in a pulsed nuclear magnetic resonance study in which a moisture distribution model was generated; free water point (0.046 g/g) and total bound water (0.19 g/g). The differential scanning calorimetry technique can provide a more readily available, less expensive, and simpler technique for paper/cellulose characterization and study.