The set of papers sums up the results of an extensive project to quantify primarily the creep characteristics but also other deformation properties of Norway spruce (Picea abies) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) wood under conditions relevant in the high temperature drying process. The programme included tension experments on tangentially and radially oriented specimens both under wet (saturated, green) conditions and drying conditions at temperatures 95-125 °C. Also, a limited strength test series was carried out with spruce. This first paper contains the documentation of the experimental techniques used as well as reports the results obtained about shrinkage, hygrothermal deformation and modulus of elasticity. The results of the strength tests are also included.