BPG Parchment

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This page is currently being reorganized, edited, and expanded into six new pages. Most of the original content from the Paper Conservation Catalog been relocated and distributed between the following pages: BPG Parchment Examination and Documentation, BPG Parchment Condition Problems, BPG Parchment Conservation Treatment, BPG Parchment Housing and Storage, and BPG Parchment Historic Treatment Methods and Materials.

Original Compilers: Walter Newman, Abigail Quandt
For a full list of the original contributors to this page, see the section below on History of This Page below.
Wiki Compilers: Cathie Magee, Abigail Quandt, Rebecca Smyrl
Wiki Contributors: Emily Williams, your name could be here

Copyright 2024. The AIC Wiki is a publication of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC). It is published as a convenience for the members of AIC. Publication does not endorse nor recommend any treatments, methods, or techniques described herein. Information on researching with and citing the wiki can be found on the Reference and Bibliography Protocols page.

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American Institute for Conservation (AIC). "BPG Parchment." AIC Wiki. May 21, 2024. https://www.conservation-wiki.com/wiki/BPG_Parchment.

Introduction to Parchment[edit | edit source]

This series of pages focuses primarily on the history, conservation, and storage of European parchment artifacts. There is also a long history of parchment used in North Africa and Western Asia for writing manuscripts (e.g. early Qur'ans). See BPG Western African Books and Manuscripts, BPG Ethiopian Bindings, and BPG Bookbinding Traditions by Region or Culture > Islamic for more.

See the BPG Parchment Bookbinding page for information on parchment book covers and structural components.

Terminology[edit | edit source]

Parchment is typically described as a highly stressed sheet material with a stiff handle which is made from the skins of small domesticated animals such as calves, sheep, and goats that are cleaned of their hair and flesh and then dried under tension on a frame. The English word parchment comes from the French word parchemin ("parchment, n." 2022) which ultimately derives from the name of Pergamon, a city in modern day Türkiye and a center for parchment production in the ancient world ("Pergamon" 2022). This material is also referred to as vellum, from the French word vellin derived from vel for veal ("vellum, n." 2022) (alternatively, from the Latin word vitulus and the French word veau for calf (Reed?)). Vellum was often used to indicate a very fine quality of parchment which was preferred for painting and illumination, or specifically referring to parchment made of calfskin. However, the two words have come to be used interchangeably without any clear distinction between animal type or method of preparation. Since parchment is presently the term preferred by a large number of conservators, scientists, and scholars working both in the U.S. and abroad, it has therefore been exclusively adopted for use here except where direct quotations use vellum.

Parchment Manufacture[edit | edit source]

Though both produced from animal skins, parchment differs from leather in appearance, production, physical structure, etc. Geraty (2019) points out the two most essential differences between the two materials: 1) leather is tanned, whereas parchment is not; 2) parchment is dried under tension, which is not a requirement for leather.

To summarize generally from Haines (2006, 198-199), skins are washed in cold, clean water for two days, and then immersed in slaked lime for about eight days to loosen the hair and epidermis. Once removed from the bath, the skins are laid on a wooden board or beam and scraped clean of hair, epidermis, fat, muscle, and loose flesh. Then the skins are again soaked in lime for several days, and then washed in water for about two days. Essential to the formation of parchment (versus raw hide) is drying the skins under tension. Each skin is suspended within a wooden frame via flexible supports to allow for shrinkage without tearing. One method has the one area of the edge of a skin is wrapped around a small stone called a pippin. A cord is tied around the wrapped pippin and then secured to the frame with an adjustable peg. Once taut but while still wet, the skin is scraped again with a crescent-shaped knife called a lunellum. The skin is retensioned on the frame throughout to keep it taut. It is left to dry in the frame in a controlled environment that prevents drying too quickly or at too high a temperature. Once dry, the skin is scraped again with a lunellum to achieve a uniform thickness overall. The surface grain may be removed also for some uses, especially writing. Then the parchment is cut from the frame and both surfaces are rubbed with pumice powder.

The different historical methods of manufacturing parchment in the West are further described in detail by several authors including Ronald Reed (1972), Hedwig Saxl, Richard Johnson and Daniel Thompson. Modern-day parchment makers William Visscher and Benjamin Vorst provide insights into the current techniques of parchment manufacture. The studies of Jiri Vnoucek on antique methods of parchment manufacture are extremely valuable. Reed (1972) and Kennedy and Wess (2003) describe the structure of collagen fibers within parchment in detail that shall not be reproduced here.

To add: Islamic, African, Asian, Colonial American/New Spain, etc.

Late Antique[edit | edit source]

Vnouček 2019; Vnouček 2020; Jiri Vnouček 2015

Medieval/Renaissance[edit | edit source]

Byzantine[edit | edit source]

See Kireyeva 1999; Mokretsova et al. 2003.

Judaica[edit | edit source]

Parchment produced for Judaica was often made by adding bran flour during the initial soaking process, which occurred in an acidic bath rather than alkaline. The bran would ferment, increasing the acidity of the bath. (Vorst 1986; Vorst 1991)

Ancient Jewish methods of parchment manufacture usually included the application of weak tanning solutions to the skin surface, often only the surface of the hair side. This was done as a final step in the parchment making process and was perhaps intended to toughen the surface of the skin prior to writing. (See Reed 1972, Haran 1985, Haran 1991. It is unclear whether a similar process was carried out in other countries, at other times. 18th and 19th century Hebrew scrolls were written on a type of parchment called “gvil” which was supposedly made using ancient manufacturing techniques, employing some type of tanning agent. However, the thickness, dark color and soft handle of these modern skins make them seem much more like leather than their earlier ancestors. [original]

Grossman 1997. Haran 1985. Wallert 1996.

Modern[edit | edit source]

See Danforth 2021.

Hagadorn, Alexis. 2012. "Parchment making in eighteenth-century France; historical practices and the written record." Journal of the Institute of Conservation 35 (2): 165-188.

Parchment-Like Materials[edit | edit source]

Goldbeater's skin is animal intestine that can be used to repair parchment (Groot 2021).

In investigating the production of imitation shagreen, Vries (2021) describes how the skin is treated similarly to parchment in that itis dried under tension and is (sometimes) not tanned.

Types of Parchment Artifacts[edit | edit source]

Parchment as a Writing Substrate[edit | edit source]

Within European collections, parchment is mainly associated with its use as a writing support for medieval manuscripts in codex, roll, and single page formats. The oldest extant parchment codices date from the 4th century C.E.: the Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Sinaiticus. Rolls and single page documents such as indentures and deeds were more commonly used for administrative purposes.

[copied from original BPG Parchment page]

Folios[edit | edit source]

This category includes small cuttings and other fragments, single leaves and conjoint bifolia from manuscripts and printed books that were once whole codices, and books in scroll form that had, for the cultures who made them, either religious or magical importance. (Although parchment was used to make book covers as well, issues regarding their preservation and treatment will not be addressed in this chapter.) Fragments and leaves removed from books usually contain media on both sides and may also retain evidence of their earlier function as bound codices (see Features to Record/Observe for a list of the structural features that might remain in these artifacts). Parchment objects in scroll format typically contain media on only one side and are made up of multiple pieces of parchment that are joined edge to edge with adhesive or by sewing with thread, parchment thong or sinew. Depending on their date of manufacture and their country of origin parchment books were either written by hand, using iron gall or carbon inks, or printed with more resinous printing inks. They were also frequently decorated or illuminated with a variety of pigments and metals such as gold, silver, tin and their alloys.

Archival Documents[edit | edit source]

This category includes a wide variety of official and private documents (contracts, deeds, wills, indentures, genealogical tables, etc.), maps, architectural drawings and garden plans. Many parchment legal documents have ribbons or ties, often with associated seals, which were laced through the folds at the bottom after they were signed in order to prevent unauthorized additions or changes. This practice sometimes obscures text or signatures but is an inherent part of the document.(LP) Parchment documents and other archival materials can be made up of a single sheet or multiple sheets; the latter are either stacked one on top of the other and joined at a single edge, or they are joined end to end to make a roll which, in many cases, would extend as much as 25 feet in length. (Membrane is the term used to describe each loose sheet of parchment used to record British official documents. The term is also used for each separate sheet of parchment forming a roll. See Guide to the Contents of the Public Record Office. vol. 1 (1963), p.206.) The sheets in these composite documents are either joined by sewing with thread, cord, ribbon, etc., or with adhesive. So as to make up the large format needed for maps, architectural plans and drawings, single sheets of parchment are often joined at the edges with adhesive to make larger supports. Routine official documents were often written in iron-gall or carbon inks, and later printed with carbon oil-based inks. Depending upon the relative importance of certain medieval documents on parchment, such as those created for a king or duke or for a wealthy religious house, they were often illuminated with various paints and gold leaf. Architectural plans and drawings from the medieval period were often executed in pen and ink, whereas maps and garden plans (which were executed on parchment up until the end of the 18th and perhaps into the 19th century) were also colored using gouache or watercolor.

Palimpsests[edit | edit source]

Engel 2014.

Fragments[edit | edit source]

A fragment is a piece of a parchment document that has been removed its original format, i.e. cut from a codex, roll, or single page document. A fragment can be anything from a complete bifolium down to a small scrap of a folio. Parchment fragments were cut from codices either by bookbinders to be repurposed as part of a new bookbinding as a covering material or other structural component or by collectors or booksellers to be collected or sold. Occasionally, fragments that were recycled into book parts were then later scavenged by collectors and removed from their secondary bindings. Libraries and museums frequently see fragments from all three of these scenarios: slices of folios featuring illuminations or text kept in folders, mats, or albums; in situ fragments that remain in place in their roles of reuse on or in a book (Sheppard 2000, 169); and loose fragments that retain evidence of reuse, often seen as adhesive residue, grime, folds, and holes, especially when used as book covers (see BPG Parchment Bookbinding). The retention of features of use and second use come to be extremely important evidence in fragmentology, the study of parchment fragments, which seeks to contextualize fragments or, if possible, unite them with larger pieces of their former texts. In general, the treatment of parchment fragments follows normal treatment protocols (see BPG Parchment Conservation Treatment), except for an emphasis on retaining evidence of use (Kenney 2022).

Parchment Book Covers[edit | edit source]

Parchment was frequently used as a covering material for printed books and blank books throughout Europe. See BPG Parchment Bookbindings.

Parchment in Other Formats[edit | edit source]

Parchment in Fine Art[edit | edit source]

This category includes drawings, paintings and prints on single sheets of parchment that can be found in various sizes and formats. The types of media used for drawing and painting on parchment include graphite (rarely used, however), silverpoint on prepared grounds, pen and ink, pastel, charcoal, watercolor, and gouache (Watrous 1957). 16th and 17th century Dutch and Italian artists often used parchment as a painting or drawing support. It was also used extensively for portrait miniatures, before the adoption of ivory as a painting support in the 17th century. Many still lifes and flower paintings were executed on fine parchment from at least the 17th to the 19th centuries. Etchings on parchment were produced in large numbers during the 19th century as reproduction prints, especially in England and France (see Smith and Bunting 1993, and Nineteenth Century Fine Art Prints on Parchment). Parchment was also used as a printing support by many 19th century French artists such as Buhot and others.

Some early medieval manuscripts such as the Utrecht Psalter contain pen and ink drawings throughout the codex. Holcomb (2009) describes the art historical significance of this and several other highly illustrated manuscripts.

Pastel portraits of the 18th century frequently incorporated a parchment substrate; see Gombaud and van Leeuwen 2017; Sauvage and Gombaud, 2015; Shelley 1989.

Furniture[edit | edit source]

Kitchen et al. 1992, Parchment Bugatti chair.

Ritual or Sacred Objects[edit | edit source]

See also: Culturally Sensitive Treatment

This category includes articles made for use as part of religious observance. In Judaism, they include Torah scrolls, mezuzot, tefillin kettubot, books, and Biblical scrolls. Their conservation treatment will require an under-standing of their context in Jewish life to determine the appropriateness of various treatments (Greene 1992). Certain items, such as Torah scrolls, mezuzot and tefillin, should be given to a qualified religious scribe (sofer) if it is intended they be used for religious purposes. This should be discussed with a responsible custodian or curator before treatment. [original]

Prints on Parchment[edit | edit source]

Parchment was used in addition to paper in the early days of printing; several surviving Gutenberg bibles were printed on parchment. The practice continued sporadically into the 19th century. See Jenkins 1992.

Creation of Medieval Manuscripts[edit | edit source]

An in-depth description of the methods and materials used to make medieval manuscripts on parchment is beyond the scope of this page, but it is useful to know how they were made when engaging in conservation work. This topic has been addressed by many conservators and book historians. See the relevant section in References below.

References[edit | edit source]

Introduction to Parchment

"parchment, n.". OED Online. December 2022. Oxford University Press. (accessed January 19, 2023).

"vellum, n.". OED Online. December 2022. Oxford University Press. (accessed January 19, 2023)

"Pergamon," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed January 19, 2023).

Parchment Manufacture

Danforth, Caroline. 2021. "Art in Translation: Parchment, Parchemin, Pergament: 18th-, 19th-, and 20th Century Authors on the History and Manufacture of Parchment." Journal of Paper Conservation 22 (1–4): 81–90.

Geraty, Peter. 2019. "A Manual Approach to Stiff-Board Parchment Binding." In Suave Mechanicals: Essays on the History of Bookbinding, edited by Julia Miller, 5. Ann Arbor: Legacy Press. 125–196.

Groot, Zeger Hendrik de. 2021. "The Manufacture of Goldbeater’s Skin, Transparent Parchment, and Split Parchment." Translated by Caroline Danforth. Art in Translation 13 (4): 408–18.

Grossman, Annlinn Kruger. 1997. "The Gantse Megillah: Conservation of a 14-15th Century Parchment Esther Scroll." Book and Paper Group Annual 16: 21–32.

Haran, Menahem. 1985. "Bible Scrolls in Eastern and Western Jewish Communities from Qumran to the High Middle Ages." Hebrew Union College Annual 56: 21–62.

Haines, B. M. 2006. "The Manufacture of Parchment." In Conservation of Leather and Related Materials, edited by Marion Kite and Roy Thomson. London: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann. 198–99.

Icon - The Institute of Conservation. 2021. The Identification of Shagreen - Herre de Vries | Icon Book & Paper Group.

Kennedy, Craig J., and Tim J. Wess. 2003. "The Structure of Collagen within Parchment - A Review." Restaurator 24: 81–80.

Kireyeva, Vilena. 1999. "Examination of Parchment in Byzantine Manuscripts." Restaurator 20 (1): 39–47.

Mokretsova, I. P., M. M. Naumova, V. N. Kireyeva, E. N. Dobrynina, and B. L. Fonkitch. 2003. Materials and Techniques of Byzantine Manuscripts [Materialy i Tekhnika Vizantiĭskoĭ Rukopisnoĭ Knigi]. Moscow: Indrik.

Reed, Ronald. 1972. Ancient Skins Parchments and Leathers. London-New York: Seminar Press.

Vnouček, Jiří. 2005. "The Manufacture of Parchment for Writing Purposes and the Observation of the Signs of Manufacture Surviving in Old Manuscripts." Care and Conservation of Manuscripts 8: 74–92.

Vnouček, Jiří. 2015. "Production of Parchment for a Handmade Replica of the Treaty of Kiel from 1814." In Making a Replica of the Treaty of Kiel. Copenhagen Oslo: Royal Library; The Norwegian Parliament Archives. 28–41.

Vnouček, Jiří. 2019. "The Parchment of the Codex Amiatinus in the Context of Manuscript Production in Northumbria Around the End of the Seventh Century: Identification of the Animal Species and Methods of Manufacture of the Parchment as Clues to the Old Narrative?" Journal of Paper Conservation 20 (1–4): 179–204.

Vnouček, Jiří, Sarah Fiddyment, Abigail Quandt, Sophie Rabitsch, Matthew Collins, and Christa Hofmann. 2020. "The Parchment of the Vienna Genesis: Characteristics and Manufacture." In The Vienna Genesis. 35–70.

Vorst, Benjamin. 1986. "Parchment Making - Ancient and Modern." Fine Print 12 (4): 209–211, 220–221.

Vorst, Benjamin. 1991. "Mysterious Vellum." In Pergament: Geschichte, Struktur, Restaurierung, Herstellung, edited by Peter Rück, 365–70. Sigmaringen: J. Thorbecke.

Wallert, Arie. 1996. "Tannins on the Parchment of the Dead Sea Scrolls." 11th Triennial Meeting, Edinburgh, Scotland 1-6 September 1996 Preprints Volume II.

Woods, Christopher S. 2006. "The Conservation of Parchment." In Conservation of Leather and Related Materials, edited by Marion Kite and Roy Thomson. London: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann. 200–224.

Types of Parchment Artefacts

Engel, Patricia. 2014. “Deletions in Manuscripts: Historical Sources and Physical Traces.” Edited by M. J. Driscoll. Care and Conservation of Manuscripts 14: 109–36.

Gombaud, Cécile, and Idelette van Leeuwen. 2017. "Pastel Conservation and Framing at the Rijksmuseum." Journal of Paper Conservation 18 (2): 42–50. https://doi.org/10.1080/18680860.2017.1413816.

Greene, Virginia. 1992. "'Accessories of Holiness': Defining Jewish Sacred Objects." Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 31 (1): 31-39.

Holcomb, Melanie. 2009. Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages. Metropolitan Museum of Art; Yale University Press, New York; New Haven.

Kenney, Kathryn. 2022. "Preserving Evidence of Use: The Conservation of a Teaching Collection of Medieval Manuscript Fragments." Guardians of Memory: Preserving the National Collection (blog). March 3, 2022.

Paterson, Dan. 2018. “Treatment of two vellum manuscript waste bindings and a survey of similar bindings in American research libraries.” Edited by Matthew James Driscoll. Care and Conservation of Manuscripts 16: 449–65.

Pickwoad, Nicholas. 2000. "The Use of Fragments of Medieval Manuscripts in the Construction and Covering of Bindings on Printed Books." In Interpreting and collecting fragments of medieval books: Proceedings of the Seminar in the History of the Book to 1500, Oxford, 1998 eds. Linda L. Brownrigg and Margaret M. Smith, Los Altos Hills: Anderson-Lovelace, 1-20.

Sauvage, Leila, and Cécile Gombaud. 2015. “Liotard’s Pastels: Techniques of an 18th-Century Pastellist.” Technology and Practice – Studying 18th Century Paintings and Art on Paper, CATS Proceedings, 31–45.

Sheppard, Jennifer M. 2000. "Medieval Binding Structures: Potential Evidence from Fragments." In Interpreting and Collecting Fragments of Medieval Books: Proceedings of the Seminar in the History of the Book to 1500, Oxford, 1998 eds. Linda L. Brownrigg and Margaret M. Smith, Los Altos Hills: Anderson-Lovelace, 167-175.

Creation of Medieval Manuscripts

Alexander, J. J. G. 1994. Medieval Illuminators and Their Methods of Work. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Primarily a deep dive into the circumstances and practices of individual artists and the making of well-known manuscripts. Technical information on general manuscript illumination technique is interspersed throughout. Good for those with a strong art historical background.

Clarke, Mark. 2001. "The Analysis of Medieval European Manuscripts." Reviews in Conservation 2: 3–17.

Clarke, Mark. 2004. "Anglo-Saxon Manuscript Pigments." Studies in Conservation 49 (4): 231–44.

Clemens, Raymond and Timothy Graham. 2007. Introduction to Manuscript Studies. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

An excellent source that describes illuminated manuscript production, visible characteristics, and types of books. Chapter 2 discusses common scribal tools, the making of ink, the practice of copying from exemplars, rubrication and initials, illumination, and the origins of common pigments. Chapter 4 covers quire assembly, binding (very generally), girdle books, and book storage. Other useful chapters cover the practices of manuscript reading and copying, paleography and scripts, and the layout of bibles and liturgical books. Many color images of making parchment, repairs, book structure, page formats, unfinished illuminations, scribal notations, marks of use and damage, etc.

De Hamel, Christopher and British Library. 2001. The British Library Guide to Manuscript Illumination : History and Techniques. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

The strength of this brief (88 page) book is the discussion of the social context and visual importance of manuscript illumination practices rather the one chapter with a technical description of the process, which is written from an art historical perspective. There are many color images of manuscript illuminations; a few feature contemporary images of scribes, and there are no modern depictions of the act of illuminating parchment.

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

[from original BPG Parchment page.]

Abt, Jeffrey. 1985. "The Deterioration Mechanism in Byzantine Manuscript Illuminations of Greek Origin." AIC Preprints. Washington, DC., 13th Annual Meeting: 1-14.

Abt, Jeffrey and Margaret A. Fusco. "A Byzantine Scholar's Letter on the Preparation of Manuscript Vellum." Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 28, no. 2 (1989): 61-66.

Alexander, Jerome. Glue and Gelatin. New York, New York: The Chemical Catalogue Co. Inc., 1923.

Alexandre Bidon, Daniele and Monique Closson. "Scenes de la vie d'urtiste au moyen age: outils de travail et vie professionnelle." Artists, Craftsmen and Artistic Production in the Middle Ages: Preliminary Reports. Rennes, 2-6 May (1983): 228-41.

An Alphabetical Listing of Engravings at the Office of the Printsellers' Association, London, from 1892-1911 Inclusive. London: Printed for the Incorporated Printsellers' Association, 1912.

Alves, Luisa Maria P. A. and Lilia Maria de A. A. Esteves. "Note sur la fabrication du parchemin au Portugal", in P. Ruck (ed.), Pergament (1991): 381-4.

Ameneiro, Anthony. "From Banjos to Parchment: Leo White born 1904, Australia," in P. Ruck (ed.), Pergament (1991): 385-90.

Anon. "Differences Between Parchment and Leather." Leather Conservation News 1, no. 1 (1983): 30.

Anon. "Indagine Preliminaire sulle Alterazioni Microbiche della Pergamena." Fausta Gallo-Alicja Strzelczyk Istituto del Restauro e della Conservazione presso l'Università Nicolò Copernico di Torùn (Poland).

Avrin, Leila. "Parchment and the Jewish Scribe." AB Bookman's Weekly (March 26, 1984): 2297-2300.

Berardi, Maria Christina. "Why Does Parchment Deform? Some Observations and Considerations." Leather Conservation News 8 (1992): 12-17.

Berger, Rainer, Nancy Evans, Jeffrey M. Abell, and Mark A. Resnik. "Radiocarbon Dating of Parchment." Nature 235 (1972): 160-161.

Biemann, Klaus, and Hubert A. Scoble. "Characterization by Tandem Mass Spectrometry of Structural Modification in Proteins." Science 237 (1987): 992-998.

Bigus, Richard, Colin Franklin, Decherd Turner and Anne Bromer. The Mystique of Vellum. Boston: Bromer Booksellers Inc. and Richard Bigus, 1984.

Bischoff, Frank M. "Pergamentdicke und Lagenordnung. Beobachtungen zur Herstel- lungstechnik Helmarshausener Evangeliare des II. und 12.Jahrhunderts", in P. Ruck (ed.), Pergament (1991): 97-144.

Bogue, Robert Herman. The Chemistry and Technology of Gelatin and Glue. London: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1922.

Bowes, J.H., and J.A. Moss. “The Effect of Gamma Radiation on Collagen.” Radiation Research 16 (1962): 211-223.

Brown, Hilton. "Tuft of Cowslips by Albrecht Durer." American Artist 47 (1983): 492.

Brown, Hilton, "Supports for Watercolor Paintings." Watercolour I: I (1986): 26-35, 88-9, 96.

Brown, Julian. “The Distribution and Significance of Membrane Prepared in the Insular Manner.” La Paleographie Hebraique Medievale, Paris, 1974, Coloques Internationaux du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 547: 127-135.

Brown, Michelle P. "Continental Symptoms in Insular Codicology: Historical Perspectives", in P. Ruck(ed.), Pergament (1991): 57-62.

Brown, Michelle P. Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms. The J. Paul Getty Museum in association with the British Library, 1994.

Burton, D., Poole, J.B., and Reed, Ronald. “A New Approach to Dating the Dead Sea Scrolls.” Nature 194 (1959): 533-534.

Bykova, G. Z. "Medieval Painting on Parchment: Technique, Preservation and Restoration." Restaurator 14:3(1993): 188-97.

Cains, Anthony. “The Vellum of the Book of Kells.” The Paper Conservator 16 (1992): 50-61.

Calabro, Giuseppe, Giancarlo Impagliazzo, and Maria Teresa Tanasi. “An Evaluation Method of Softening Agents for Parchment." Restauro 7 (1986): 169-180.

Calmes, A. “Charters of Freedom of the United States.” Museum 149 (1985): 99-101.

Chahine, Claire. “Identification des cuirs et parchemins anciens a l'aide du microscope.” in ICOM Committee for Conservation, Preprints of the 4th Triennal Meeting, Venice (1975) (#75/15/6): 1-6.

Chahine, Claire. “Le Parchemin.” Proceedings of the International Symposium: Conservation in Archives, Ottowa (10-12 May, 1988) Paris: International Council on Archives, 1989: 11-24.

Chahine, Claire, Christine Rottier and Dominique Rouy. “Effets des Adhesifs sur les Proprietes Mecaniques du Parchemin.” Sauvegarde et Conservation des Photographies, Dessins, Imprimes et Manuscrits, Actes des Journees Internationales d'Etudes de l'ARSAG, Paris, 30 Septembre au 4 Octobre 1991, pp. 139-146.

Christianson, C. Paul. "A Community of Book Artists in Chaucer's London." Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies 20 (1989): 207-18.

Clanchy, Michael T. "Looking back from the Invention of Printing", in Daniel P. Resnick (ed.), Literacy in Historical Perspective. Washington: Library of Congress, 1983: 7-21.

Clarkson, Christopher, "Rediscovering Parchment: The Nature of the Beast." The Paper Conservator 16 (1992): 5-26.

Clarkson, L. A. "The Organisation of the English Leather Industry in the Late Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries." Economic History Review 13 (1960): 245-56.

Daniels, V. 1988. “The Discolouration of Paper on Ageing.” The Paper Conservator 12: 93-100.

Dawidowsky, F. A Practical Treatise on the Raw Materials and Fabrication of Glue. Philadelphia: Henry Carey Baird & Co., 1884.

De Groot, Zeger Hendrik. "Die Herstellung von Goldschlagerhaut, transparentem und gespaltenem Pergament", in P. Ruck (ed.), Pergament (1991): 373-80.

De Hamel, C. F. R. A History of Illuminated Manuscripts. London: Phaidon, 1986.

De Hamel, C. F. R. Medieval Craftsmen: Scribes and illuminators. British Museum Press, 1992.

De Hamel, C. F. R. "Reflections on the Trade in Book of Hours at Ghent and Bruges." Manuscripts ill the Fifty Years after the Invention o f Printing: Some Papers read at a Colloquium at The Warburg Institute, 12-13 March (1983): 29-33.

Delaisse, L. M. J. The Importance of tile Book of Hours for tile History of tile Medieval Book. Paper delivered to the Oxford Bibliographical Society, May 1971.

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Dety, Paul. "Proteins." Studies in Conservation 18:I (1973): 173-84.

di Majo, Anna; Federici, Carlo and Palma, Marco. “La Pergamena dei Codici Altomedieval Italiani. Indagine sulle Specie Animali Utilizzate.” Scriptorium 39, no. 1 (1985): 3-12.

di Majo, Anna and Rossana Rotili. “Contributo alla Conoscenza della Pergamena. Studio Statistico dell'-Arrangemento Follicolare.” Bolletino dell'Istituto Centrale per la Patologia del Libro “Alfonso Gallo” 39 (1984-1985): 47-56.

di Majo, Anna, Carlo Federici and Marco Palma. “Indagine sulla Pergamena Insulare (Secoli VII-XVI).” Scriptorium 62, no.2 (1988): 131-139 and Plates 9-14.

di Majo, Anna, Carlo Federici and Marco Palma. "Die Tierhautbestimmung des Pergarnents der italienischen 'Chartae Latinae Antiquiores'", in P. Ruck (ed.), Pergament (1991): 47-56.

Dickerson, Scott M. “Notes on Parchment.” Friends of Calligraphy, 1985, pp. 8-13.

Dickerson, Scott M. “Sources of Parchment.” Friends of Calligraphy, 1981, pp. 18-20.

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Down, Jane L., Maureen A. MacDonald, Jean Tetreault and R. Scott Williams. Adhesive Testing at the Canadian Conservation Institute - An Evaluation of Selected Poly(vinyl acetate) and Acrylic Adhesives, Environment and Deterioration Report No. 1603. Ottowa, Canada: Canadian Conservation Institute, 1992.

Drinker, David. The Hand-Produced Book. London, 1953.

Dunlop, Louisa. "Pigments and Painting Materials in Fourteenth- and Early Fifteenth-century Parisian Manuscript Illumination." Artisans et Productions Artlstiques all Moyen Age, 1'01. 3; Fabrications au Consommation de l'Oeuvre, University of Rennes (1990): 271-93.

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History of This Page[edit | edit source]

BPG Wiki
In 2009, the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC) launched the AIC Wiki with funding assistance from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), a division of the National Parks Service. Along with catalogs from other specialty groups, the published Paper Conservation Catalog and the unpublished Book Conservation Catalog were transcribed into a Wiki environment. In 2017, Rebecca Smyrl reformatted this chapter by removing the legacy numbered outline format, reorganizing and renaming sections, and improving internal links. As of 2022, Cathie Magee is dividing the contents between six separate pages and updating the information and references.

Paper Conservation Catalog (print edition 1984-1994)
Prior to the creation of the AIC Conservation Wiki, this chapter was created in 1994 as Chapter 18: Parchment Treatments of the 9th edition of the Paper Conservation Catalog, (print edition 1984-1994) by the following:

Compilers: Walter Newman, Abigail Quandt.
Contributors: Tom Albro, Frederick Bearman, Nancy Bell, Ulrike Berger, Lorraine Bigrigg, Victoria Bunting, Dorthea Burns, Tony Cains, Claire Chahine, Christopher Clarkson, Marnie Cobbs, Almuth Corbach, Ursula Dreibholz, Deborah Evetts, Andrea Giovannini, Eric Hansen, Doris Hamburg, Margaret Lawson, Michael Maggen, John Franklin Mowery, Jesse Munn, Catherine (Kitty) Nicholson, Elissa O'Loughlin, Carol Paulson, Dag-Ernst Peterson, Hugh Phibbs, Nicholas Pickwoad, Lois Price, Jane Smith, Nancy Southworth, Nathan Stolow, Donna Strahan, Hanna Szczepanowska, Jack Thompson, Nancy Turner, Dianne van der Reyden, Heather Wanser, Pamela Young Randolph.
Editorial Board: Sylvia R. Albro, Sarah Bertalan, Antoinette Dwan, Holly Krueger, Elizabeth Coombs Leslie, Catherine I. Maynor, Catherine (Kitty) Nicholson, Kimberly Schenck, Ann Seibert, Dianne van der Reyden,Terry Boone Wallis

Book and Paper Group Wiki
Wiki Editor Resources

Contributors' Toolbox · Reference and Bibliography Protocols · Accessing Conservation Literature (AIC) · Help Wanted · Template for New Page

Materials and Tips

Annual Meeting Tips Sessions · Materials, Equipment, and Tools · Adhesives · Adhesive Recipes and Tips · Leather Research · Conservation Supply Sources (AIC) · Gels, Thickeners, and Viscosity Modifiers (ECPN)

Examination, Documentation, and Analysis

Glossary of Terms · Visual Examination · Written Documentation · Documentation of Books · Watermarks · Fiber Identification · Spot Tests · Analytical Techniques (PSG) · Non-destructive Testing and Instrumental Analysis (PMG) · Oddy Tests (R&A) · Microchemical Testing (R&A)


Selection for Preservation · Exhibition, Supports, and Transport · Choosing Materials for Storage, Exhibition & Transport (AIC) · Imaging and Digitization · Housings · Matting and Framing · Encapsulation · Collection Care (AIC) · Integrated Pest Management (AIC) · Environmental Guidelines (AIC) · Environmental Monitoring (AIC) · Agents of Deterioration (AIC) · Light (AIC) · Pollutants (AIC)

Disaster Recovery

Emergency Preparedness & Response (AIC) · Stabilizing Wet Paper (AIC) · Stabilizing Wet Books (AIC) · Stabilizing Wet Skin and Leather (AIC) · Mold

Conservation History and Ethics

AIC Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice · Culturally Sensitive Treatment · Conservation Ethics (AIC) · Sustainable Practices (AIC) · History of Conservation and Conservators (AIC) · History of the BPG Wiki

Book Conservation Topics
Structural Elements of the Book

Endpapers · Endbands · Sewing and Leaf Attachment · Book Boards · Board Attachment · Book Decoration · Fastenings and Furniture

Covering Materials

Animal Skin and Leather · Cloth Bookbinding · Paper Bookbinding · Parchment Bookbinding

Treatment Techniques

Washing of Books · Alkalinization of Books · Leaf Attachment and Sewing Repair · Board Reattachment · Use of Leather in Book Conservation

Bookbinding Traditions

Bookbinding Traditions by Region or Culture · East Asian Book Formats · Ethiopian Bindings · Greek-Style Bindings · Western African Books and Manuscripts

Specialized Formats

Scrapbooks · Atlases, Foldouts, and Guarded Structures

Circulating Collections

Circulating Collections · Case Binding