- Parchment production from antiquity to early mediaeval times
- parchment making in pharaonic Egypt
- The origin of parchment as material and as term
- parchment making in mediaeval times
- the use of parchment in spain
- From manuscript on parchment to bookprinting on rag paper
- the final touch
- preparing the surface for drawing and writing
- ink preparation of the mediaeval scribes
- books of hours in mediaeval times
- Thora scrolls in Jewish religion
- the final surface treatment
- The sound of mediaeval parchment books
- further readings
Parchment production from antiquity to early mediaeval times
In late antiquity and early mediaeval times, parchment craft was at it´s highest. It was in this context, that the „Codex Sinaiticus“ – a copy of the New Testament – was written in the fourth century. This masterpiece of parchment art survived until today and has been kept in the library of the Leipzig university (Germany). Since book spreads have not been made from a single skin – as it qould be the usual procedure – more than 700 animals have been slaughtered to produce the 326 spreads of the book. Most remarkably, the very even strenght of the pages reflects the high level of craftmansship. The ability to make thin and even parchment was the aim of every parchment maker. The pages of the book measure 0,1 to 0,2mm in thickness. The pages are from calf skins. Since the parchment of the „Codex Sinaiticus“ is almost free of thicks, scars and bruisings, one can assume, that the animals have been kept in special conditions. The goats of the monastery clearly had a better life than their secular comrades. Further north in Europe, in Troyes/France a parchment book written in the time of Pope Gregorius I has survived. It has been written about 600 AD. Here, too, is is surprising how even and thin the pages are: Thin pages clearly demonstrate the ability of the craftsmen to deal with the different properties of each skin area and to contain the different degrees of tension of the skin.
Northern Europe of this time could only boast a few centres of parchment craft. The first written record of a monastery library goes back to 540 BC. The first personally known parchment maker, the Irish monk Dagonus, died in 587 AD. The 7th century had Sigiberd from Cologne/Germay and in the 9th century, we can read of Saint Gallen/Suisse as center of parchment making. In this time we also witness a certain decay. With the foundation of most of the Central- and Western European monasteries in the 11th century, the pages are quite thick and rough. From 13th century on, however, parchment craft recovered and we can find many great examples of manuscript books written of even and fine parchment. At this time, paper thin parchment has been made. Those manuscrips were highly priced and could cost up to ten talents of silver.
Parchment making in pharaonic Egypt
When it comes to the origin of parchment, much has been said about the conflict between Asia Minor and Egypt. Since the pharaonic rulers of Egypt banned papyrus from being exported to the Greek empire, the latter turned to prepared hides. Although much older fragments of parchment have been unearthed from the egyptian deserts. At the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, we find pieces of an fine scroll of prepared animal hide from the 6th dynastie (2400 BC). In Berlin archives there are scrolls from the 12th dynastie (1990–1777 BC), while further objects can be admired at the British Museum. There you can find a mathematical text from the reign of Rames II. (early 13th century BC). As scientists underline, parchment already has been in use in the Assyrian and Babylonian empire as early as 600 BC.
The origin of parchment as material and as term
The term „parchment“ derives from the Greek city of Pergamon and goes back to 300 BC. According to the tradition of the historian Plinius, the kingdoms of Greece and pharaonic Egypt competed for the worldwide biggest library. The Egyptians could not accept, that the Greek institution grew faster than their own. So Ptolemäus Epiphanes, the empereor of Alexandria banned papyrus to be exported to Asia Minor. His intention was to stop his counterpart Eumenes to order more copies to be made. Eumenes, however started to use parchment as writing material. Parchment and leather as writing materials are indeed much older. The first documents written on leather survuved from the fourth Egyptian dynasty (2550-2450 BC). These are fragments of leather scrolls. In Berlin museums we find a srcoll from the 12th dynasty (1800 BC). From the time of Ramses II. (13th century BC) there is a mathematical text in the British Museum. Later we find some Jewish parchments. Some buddhistic texts from the 3rd century have survived. They were found in the Pakistan/Afghan area. In early Islamic times parchment was also used as writing material. In Samarcant a fine specimen of the presumably first coran in codex form has survived. It was made from antelope parchment. The transisition from scrolls to codex took place in late antiquity. The oldest surviving type of writing ist the famous „Codex Vaticanus“ – it´s name deriving from the library were it is kept – from 305 AD. The transition followed natural needs, since keeping parchments as scrolls needed too much storage place. Also parchment could easily be rolled, when it was opened to read it, parchment has the tendency to flick back into its previous form. Apart from the much cited passage of Plinius about the competition between Egypt and Greece, it is difficult to trace the origin of parchment and leather as writing support. Herodos (500 BC) acknowledges the widespread use of leather as writing material. In 1909 two much older parchment scrolls have been descovered in Kurdistan. One can cautiously assume, that parchment has been in use far before 300 BC. The advantages to papyrus lay on hand. It could be used on both sides, they could be reused after scratching and mistakes could be far more easier be corrected. From the 3rd century AD on papyrus was finally replaced by parchment. The transition from scrolls to codex fell in the same period. In German as well as in English, the notion of parchment ist used for animal skin – usually for goat, sheep or cattle – which had been dried under tension and scraped. The mechanical process of stretching changes the fibre structure of the skin. The beforehand disordered fibres make the skin being opaque, while stretched skin forces the fibres into a parallel structure which in turn creates a whitish surface – a perfect writing material. This change can be undone: just put a piece of parchment into your washing mashine and the parchment will once again torn to raw hide. Leather, however is tanned skin, while parchment was not treated that way. The term velum was used in German and English up to modern times exclusively for parchment made from calf skin. It was only in modernity that the borders between velum and parchment were blurred and both terms used an synonyms. Velum, however was used to describes high quality parchment. The term „uterine vellum“ depicts the most valuable parchment made from skin of stillborn calves. In English university diploma are sometimes called „sheepskins“, what hints to ist former writing support.
Parchment making in mediaeval times
There are some fine descriptions of how parchment was made in mediaeval times. The skins are washed for one day and one night under running water in order to cleanse them from blood, faeces and other organic matters. It also made the skin receptible for the quick lime solution. Today this processus is accelerated in order not to loose skin fibres by bacterias, who would possibly develop in the water. Now – according to an 8th century description – some fermented substances like beer, fermented liquids and plants are added. However, sometime urine was added. The skins were then put into a quick lime bath for three to ten days. Thos were wooden barils or stone bassins which measured 2x1x1m. Two dozends of skins could be prepared at the same time.
The quick lime bath was not part of the earliest mediaeval recipes; since it was not mentioned in the famous book of Kells (8th century). Sometimes – possibly in winter - the solution was made more reactive by adding sodium sulfid to remove the hairs. Since the lime hardly solved in the water, the solution was according to modern standard not very strong. However, mediaeval authors recommend using wooden poles to stir the skins for two to three times a day. Since the lime only slowly reacted with the skins, sometimes a second lime bath was applicated in order to make them more evenly. Well prepared skins had an even, opaque texture.
Now the skins were put on a „Scherbaum“, were the skins were removed with a curved knife. The ouer skin of both sides were removed. Then again the skins were watered for two days to remove exessive lime. Then the skins were headover tightened into a wooden frame. Poorly scratched skins were visible by the remaining roots of the hairs, which were visible as black dots. The skin cannot be nailed on the frame. The drying skin would shrink and aventually tear. Rather knots were attached to the skin. Small pebbles were folded into the knots which served to fix the skin to it. The other side of the rope was attached to a turning device at the frame. Now the skin was tightened. This was a very delicate moment, since small cuts and scars would open up. They had to be sown at once. The parchmenter usually worked on the flesh side to make the skin thinner. The hair side usually needed little corrections to remove leftover hairs. The tension was important, since areas with unsifficient tension developed a mirror like surface. The stretched skin had to be moistened.
The knife was called lunarium or lunellum and was used since mediaeval times. The blade was curved to avoid cuts. When the skin was dry, tension was at ist highest. Now the skin had to be scratched once more. Since now the parchment was like a drum, much noise was made. Now the skin was scratched to ist final strenght. Experienced parchment workers could produce very even and thin skins.
Before writing, the parchments were prepared by lay men. Learned monks only smoothened the surface with fine punice or pigs of wild boar. Monasteries posessed their own flocks of sheeps as well as their own forests. Sheeps and deers provided the monasteries with sufficient skins, since the clergy was granted hunting rights. At this time, books were confined to monasteries and exclusicely served religious purpose, while the nobles had little books. Monastery cared for the quality of the parchment, and the sheeps were treated better than their fellows in the villages. The parchment of fine specimen was much finer. They had consoderably lesser bruises, bug bites, skin diseases and scars.
The use of parchment in Spain
In many important churches until now giant parchment books in folio size are displayed. One spread must have been prepared from a complete cow-skin since a single pages easily measures 1x 0,7 metres. Since a spread has ben the base of a parchment book, the spreads measure 2x1,4 metres. Mostly you can find books of Gregorian hymns which in the case of Southern Spain, date back to the time after the reconquista – thus between 1492 to 1700. The musical notations are so hige, that a singer has to see it from quita e distance to read it easily. Most properly the choir has been standing in some distance infront of the opened book. A monk must have been assigned to turn the pages. Those hymnbooks clearly have some performative mentions, since they are displayed even outside mass.
From manuscript on parchment to bookprinting on rag paper
The decline of parchment culture already startet long before the invention of bookprinting. It was in the 13th century that Arab merchants spread the knowledge to Europe, how to produce paper from rags. This eventually displaced parchment as writing material. After the invention of printing with moveable letters in the midst of the 15th century, the demand of this inexpensive writing material rose drastically. Even after the invention of printing the use of parchment did not drop directly. So one quarter of the 180 bibles, printed in 1455 were printed on parchment. After 1470 the new technology was established. The printer did not try any longer to copy the aesthetics of written letters. Rather they copied the letters chiseled in stone like in Roman inscriptions. Finally, even Royal French decrees from 1515 have been printed with the new letters. Some 75 years later, manuscrips finally ceased to be produced. There are some exceptions from this general rule: the books of hours, which was fashionable from 1450 on, was long in useage – even after the decline of manuscript culture. They were ordered by noble and wealthy clients for occations like coronation ceremonies or important anniversaries. The number of these copies, however, fell sharply. Today, only remnants of the splendid parchment tradition of the mediaeval times survived. Some historic universities, like the university of Notre Dame, the university of Glasgow as well as the Heriot-Watt University still issue certificates for doctoral degrees written by calligraphers on sheets of parchment. The „Acts of Parliament“ in England and Irland are printed on vellum parchment for archiving purposes. The only traditionally working parchment manufactory in England is run by William Cowley from Newprot Pagnell/Buckinghamshire. There are fine videos available who show how parchment was used by mediaeval scribes. Just click here!
The final touch
In mediaeval times, when parchment production climbed to the highest level, thousands of monks and laymen tried to improve the quality of the material. Therefore a whole array of mixtures and recipes were developed. In Italian monasteries of the 8th century pumice poweder was rubbed into the wet flesh side so trat ink could easier penetrate. To degrease the parchment calcium based powders and pasts were used. Sometimes flour, white of eggs and milk were added. In the 14th century we read about pasts of chalk, celcium or plant ashes for the same purpose. More rigorous methods included the use of quick lime to be rubbed into the surface. Later on, we find mixtures of calcium powder, quick lime, flour, white of eggs and milk, who were rubbed into the wet surfaced of the stretched parchment. All these ingredience were used to shift the fat-balance of the parchment. Greasy surfaces were bad to write on, since the ink or colour could not penetrate into the parchment. If too much fat was removed, however, the parchment dried out and could eventually become brittle. Try parchmant would also absorb too much ink. The monks cared much about a perfect writing surface. The mentioned pasts and powders also served to increase the whiteness of the parchment and to remove stains. The result was a smooth, hard, even and white surface.
While all this was the work of the parchmenter. The monks however cut and folded. Rules were scratched into the parchment. Needleholes served as orientations. Scratched lines defined the columns of the texts.
In early Jewish sacred tradition we find some varieties of the processus. Here weak tanning agents were used as finnish for the prepared parchments. This was maid in order to strenghten the material. This method was applied with the famous Qumran scrolls, which were discovered in a cave near the Death See/Israel. Later, this tradition was lost. Not only Thora scrolls were treated that way. Mezuzah were house blessings, which were put into little boxes and attached at door frames. There are also small charms which had the form of straps and were put around the hands or worn on the forehead. They also were prepared according to ancient tradition and finally treated with tanning agents. This tradition was revived in renaissance (18.-19th century). It was said to give strenght to the parchment, although the tanning material turned almost into leather.
Already in mediaeval times we find couloured parchments. One fine specimen of an early bible from the 5th century was written on purple parchment. In eastern christianty in Constantinople, in early times, lavish and luxurious forms were developed. The parchment was embellished with golden and silver letters. To colour it purple, the juice of purple snails was used. Cennini in 15th century writes about methods to colour the parchment in purple, blue, green, red and peach. The colours were applied to the stretched parchment.
Manuscript parchment was treated with sandpaper on one side. For calligraphical purpose it was rubbed on both sides. For bookbinding work, furniture and interior works it was not treated.
Preparing the surface for drawing and writing
Parchmenters and calligraphers developed in centuries techniques to deal with the particular properties of parchment pages. Some masters tried to close the pores of the skin with a mixture of alum, fat an tannin to prevent the parchment from taking up too much water. This techniques was developed in Jewish tradition. Even in antique judaism, parchment was covered with a thin layer of tanning agents.
The health of the animals and their treatment in lifetimes was very important for the quality of the parchment. Badly healed scars could tear in the process of stretching the skin into the parchmenter frame. Horny warts also could tear easily. A well experienced parchmenter would know the weak spots of the skin and would work these spots with special care. The size of the holes mirrors the craft of the master. Holes could also develop, when the skin was scratched too thin. In some times, however, the parchmenter purposely made holes in the periphery of the skin in order to recognize his skins. Irregularities of the skin could be the result of a poor handling of the lunellum (knife). When the blades jumps over the skin, characteristic cuts and lines will appear.
Holes generally were sewn in order to prevent them from widening. The parchmenter used threads or sinews to sew the fresh parchment. Then the collagene of the skin would almost close the suture. But also dry parchment was sewn. Here linen, silk or strips of parchment were taken.
Parchment hardly needed any special care. If the surrounding, however, is extremely dry, then an light oil could be applied. It is, however sensitive to moisture. When whiped wet, the parchment will soften. Therefore it should not be cleaned with water. It can be dusted off or rubbed off with a dry cloth. Crusts can be removed by carefully scratching them off.
For special purposes, the surface of the skins were treated. For calligraphic worcs, the surface was scratched off with a sharp knife, then polished with pumice powder or chalk. For some purposes, the surface was coated. Byzantine artists rubbed egg white and natural oils into the skin. Today parchment, which was grinded on both sides are offered on the European market.
Until the 15th century, most of the oil paintings were painted on parchment. Here special care was necesary. When the colour contained water, the parchment would swell. The painted places would be elevated. Some artists appreciated this characteristic of the material and highlightened them. Others saw them as disadvantages. Later in the 15th century, paper was prefered as painting ground, alhough Dutch and Italian painters prefered parchment in the 16th and 17th century. Especially for miniature and still life pictures. In the 19th century French painters like Buhot discovered parchment. Russian painters, however, coated it with matt white colour. They painted with graphite, pen, ink, pastel, charcoal, water color and gouache. In this time, parchment designed for printing was also coated.
Calligraphers used iron gall ink or inks based on coal. When the parchment was to be printed on, they used inks based on resin or oil and coal. If painted on, a whole variety of pigments was available. Pigments based on metal like gold, silber and tin were highly priced. The purpose defined the treatment of the parchment. Skins designed for the nobility were coated with gold leaf. Architectural plans, gerographic cards and garden plans were until the 18th century scetched on parchment with gouache and water colour.
Ink preparation of the mediaeval scribes
Sloe thorn ink: The mediaeval scribes used thorn ink to write on parchment. This ink war light proof, durable and waterproof. The monk Theophilus wrote around the year 1100 a reciepe. Sloe thigs had to be cut in spring just before sprouting. The twigs had to be left for some days. Then the bark was beaten, removed and watered for some days. Then the bark was boiled. After it completely was washed out, the bark was replaced. This procedure was repeated until the liquid was deep reddish-black. This liquid was then bioled down with red wine. The remaining water was removed by putting it into a parchment bag and put in the sun for drying. To use the ink, the powdery substance was solved in warm wine. Sometimes there was added three resin – mostly cherry three rubber – as binder. The obtained pigment was almost unlimited usable.
Iron gall ink: The most famous of all mediaeval inks is douptlessly the iron gall ink. Since it is water- and light proof, even today it is used to sign international contracts and agreements. The ink exists since the 3rd century BC. Its basic ingrediences are iron vitriol, galls, water and gum of fruit trees like cherry. The galls are extremely rich in tannin. They are dried, ground and boiled down. Now iron vitriol and gum is added. The gum serves as binding agent and prevents the flocculation of the ink. The actual pigment develops after (!) the writing, since the iron vitriol reacts with the oxigene of the air to a deep black pigment. This process takes several days, so often a fading pigment is added.
books of hours in mediaeval times
Since their appearance in the European mediaeval time books of hours have survived in an astonishingly big number. There are tens of thousands of these lavishly illuminated and embellished prayer books. They have predominantly been written for religious laymen which copied the lifestyle of the monastic populations. Thus they had to recite certain religious texts at defined times of the day. Already in the 12th century, the genre of books of hours was fully developed. Many copies were presents to women as a precous present from the groom. Big and exclusively embellished copies were expesinve and generally not affordable for the middle class. Only in 15th century we know that simple copies existed with the servants of the nobility.
Books of hours of the high nobility could have a gem-covered cover, portraits carved in ivory and depict the coat of arms of the respective family. Such precious copies were reworked completely when they changed their owner. When the english king Henry VII. defeated Richard III. the victor reworked the books of hour of Richard III. and presented it to his mother. Books of hours were often the only books present and used for reading and writing lessons. Sometimes for this purpose we find an alphabet at a lesser important page.
The high time of books of hours was the 14th century, when it was fashionable among the nobility to order and collect beautiful copies. So some examples of the famous collector Duke of Berry (d.1416) survived. The most famous of all ist the „Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry“. It was started in 1410 and continuied to be worked on over several generations. The invention of book printing gave a death blow to the genre. The last important copy was made for cardinal Alessandro Farnese in 1546.
Thora scrolls in Jewish religion
Not to all places and in all cultures parchment makers have been indifferent when it comes to choose the right animal. Especially in Jewish context the rules of Mosaic law have been strictly observed. Only parchment from ritually correct slaughtered animals has been used. So Torah scrolls only consisted of hides of kosher animals. Parchment made from fish has been banned because of its penetrating smell. Even the writing itself had to been done with the intention to write a holy text. Therefore it had to be done by Jews. It is interesting to note that even in Christian France of the 15th century only goat parchments was used for Bibles, while pig parchment was confined to book covers.
the final treatment of the surface
Already since the 8th century, Italian monks started to treat the moist and spread out skin with ground pumice in order to make it more receptible for ink. Later pastes produced from flour, egg white and milk in order to reduce fatty substances, which would make writing difficult. Since the 14th century, this pasts could also consist plant ashes, lime and chalk. The degreasing should be carried out with care. A greasy surface would make writing difficult, if not impossible. If, however the skin was completely stripped of its natural fat reservoir, then too much ink had to be used during the writing process. This pastes were also applied to increase the whiteness of the surface and to reduce spots. Pumice powder rubbed into the flesh side of the parchment would produce a silken surface, which was pleasant to write on. This should happen, when the skin was still wet and stretched out on the frame. When taken from the frame, a paste made of lime powder, quick lime, flour, white egg and milk could be applied with a moist cloth. This would render the surface smooth, hard, flat and very white.
All this was the task of the parchmenter. Later, scribes continued the process of preparing the skins. They repeatedly were moistened and dried. They cut and folded the parchment according to the book size. The ruled the sheets with needles and rulers. Equally columns were made to line out the text blocks. When looking at the Jewish writingt thadition, some particularities can be discovered. The scribe applied a mild tanning solution as finnish on the prepared parchment. This was to strenghen the parchment. Examples can be found with the famous Qumran scrolls, which were found in a cave near the Death See. Later this tradition was lost. Parchment had a special place in Jewish sacred literature. Besides Tora scrolls, they had small strips of parchment written with holy texts which were put into small boxes. They were called mezuzah and were attached to Jewish houses doors in order to function as blessings. Equally prepared parchment strips were put into boxes and used after binding them to the forehead or around the hand during prayer. Taking up an antique tradition, in the 18th to 19th century, they are painted with a mild tanning agent. Here the parchment gained strenght, but almost completely changed ist character, since tanned skin turns to leather.
Since late antiquity the old parchmenters knew how to colour the skins beautifully. One particular bible from Constantinople was written in the 5th century on purple parchment. The Byzantine Empire developed beautifully and lavishly adorned parchments. They coloured the skins with the juice of the purple snail and adorned them with gilded and silver letters. Later the colouring of the parchment with purple was given up, but the painting of the letters with inks based on precious metals was kept. Later, in the 15th century, Cennini knew recipes to color parchment, blue, green, red and peach. The color was applied to the moist surface of stretched out skins.
The sound of mediaeval parchment books
The parchment afficionado Erik Kwakkel has it´s own approach to parchment. For him, the haptic and olfactoric component of parchment is central. His favourite activity is to touch, smell, and listen to the crackling sound of mediaeval cow and sheep parchment. He can tell us a lot about the society. Like a physician today, the book historian can make a diagnosis by observing it carefully. The best quality, for example, feels just like soft velvet. It usually has an even, whitish colour, and it makes no sound when you turn the page. Bad skin, by contrast, crackles. It is of uneven thickness, and shows staining and sometimes holes. Looking at imperfect skin, however, is far more interesting than studying its perfect counterpart. This is because a defect tells a powerful story, shedding light on the book’s production and providing clues about its use and storage post-production.
Scribes were usually not the ones to blame for a manuscript’s bad skin. A fair part of that honor goes to the parchment maker. Preparing parchment was a delicate business. In order to clear the skin of flesh and hair, it was attached to a wooden frame, tight like a drum. If the round knife of the parchment maker cut too deep during this scraping process, elongated rips or holes would appear. We encounter such holes frequently in medieval books, which suggests that readers were not too bothered by them. Many scribes will have shared this sentiment, because they usually simply wrote around a hole. Some placed a little line around them.
The jabs of parchment makers – and the resulting holes – were sometimes stitched together. Repairing holes was sometimes done more eloquently. In both cases the holes are not made to disappear, but they are highlighted by coloured threads. In some monastic communities this must have been common practice, given that they repaired a lot of books with such “embroidery”. The practice turned defect into art: good-looking bad skin.
Another skin problem encountered by scribes during a book’s production was the animal’s hair follicle – the skin organ that produces hair. These follicles show as pronounced black dots on the white page. Often parchment makers or scribes were able to sand them away, producing the desired smooth and cream-colored surface. However, if the follicles had been too deep in a calf or sheep, no dermatologist could have removed the imperfection, let alone the blunt instruments of the scribe. The only thing to do was to write around the patch. The follicles are helpful because they allow us to determine – from the distance between them – whether the animal was a calf, a sheep or a goat. This, in turn, may shed light on where the manuscript was produced: the use of goat, for example, often points to Italy.
Bad skin may also tell us something about the individuals who owned, read and stored manuscripts. The presence of holes and rips may for example indicate the cost of the materials. Studies suggest that parchment was sold in four different grades, which implies that sheets with and without visible deficiencies may have been sold at different rates. If this was indeed the case, an abundance of elongates holes in a manuscript may just point at an attempt to economise on the cost of the writing support. In other words, bad skin may have come at a good price.
Parchment provides other information about readers as well, for example that he or she stored a book in an unsuitable location. Damp places, for one, would leave a mark on the manuscript’s skin. On nearly every page the top corner shows a purple rash from the mould that once attacked the skin. It is currently safe and the mould is gone, but the purple stains show just how dangerously close the book came to destruction – some corners have actually been eaten away. Similarly, if a book was stored without the proper pressure produced by a closed binding, for example because the clasp was missing, the parchment would buckle and produce endearing “waves” on the page.
Apart from such attacks by mother nature, a manuscript could also be scarred for life by the hand of men – those evil users of books. Well known are cases where scribes and readers erased text with a knife, either because the reading was wrong or because they disagreed with it. However, in the wrong hands a knife could easily have a more severe impact on the book’s skin.
The parchment specialits Erik Kwakkel even produced a film, which can be seen in youtube. Just click here!
Als Einführung für den interessierten Laien sind auf jeden Fall der deutsche Wikipediaeintrag sowie der englische Wikipedia-Artikel zu empfehlen. Sehr interessant ist auch der Beitrag von Meliora di Curci "The history and technology of parchment making".
Die Forschung hat in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten zahlreiche Standardwerke hervorgebracht, die allerdings aufgrund ihres Umfanges und der Themenstellung für den interessierten Laien kaum zu empfehlen sind. Wer sich dennoch daran wagen möchte, dem seien folgende beiden Werke empfohlen.
1. Ein Standardwerk auf dem deutschsprachigem Markt ist das Werk von Peter Rück, 1991, Pergament. Geschichte - Struktur - Restaurierung - Herstellung, Sigmaringen, Jan Thorbecke.
2. Ein nur noch antiquarisch erhältliches Werk aus dem angelsächsischen Bereich stammt von Ronald Reed, 1975, The Nature and Making of Parchment, Leeds, Elmete Press.
Für weitere Informationen siehe auch meinen Facebookeintrag Pergament Pergamentum.