Central European (Northern) type of finished parchment made of goatskin stretched on a wooden frame
Parchment with a quill and ink
German parchmenter, 1568
Latin grant dated 1329, written on fine parchment or vellum, with seal
A 1385 copy of the Sachsenspiegel, a German legal code, written on parchment with straps and clasps on the binding
A Sefer Torah, the traditional form of the Hebrew Bible, is a scroll of parchment.

Writing material made from specially prepared untanned skins of animals—primarily sheep, calves, and goats.

- Parchment

500 related topics



Prepared animal skin or membrane, typically used as writing material.

Magna Carta, written in Latin on vellum, held at the British Library
A vellum deed dated 1638, with pendent seal attached
Quran from the 7th century written on vellum
A portolan chart (map) by Jacobo Russo (Giacomo Russo) of Messina (1533)
A Volume Of Treatises on Natural Science, Philosophy, and Mathematics (1300) Ink on vellum.

Parchment is another term for this material, and if vellum is distinguished from this, it is by its being made from calfskin, as opposed to that from other animals, or otherwise being of higher quality.


Visual art related to writing.

A calligraphic nib, with part names
Chinese soldier in calligraphy competition
On Calligraphy by Mi Fu, Song Dynasty
Japanese calligraphy: Two chinese characters "平和" meaning "peace" and the signature of the Meiji-period calligrapher Ōura Kanetake, 1910. Horizontal writing.
A page from The Tale of Kiều by Nguyễn Du. 19th century.
A Bön text
A musical instrument (tube zither) with Tagbanwa calligraphy
Bow with Hanunó'o calligraphy
The Brihadisvara Temple, Thanjavur has Tamil and Sanskrit inscriptions from the 11th century.
A painting of Susenyos I (r. 1607–1632) on a Ge'ez prayer scroll meant to dispel evil spirits, Wellcome Collection, London
Folio 27r from the Lindisfarne Gospels (c.700) contains the incipit from the Gospel of Matthew.
British Library, London.
Calligraphy in a Latin Bible of 1407 on display in Malmesbury Abbey, England. This Bible was hand-written in Belgium, by Gerard Brils, for reading aloud in a monastery.
Modern Western calligraphy
The phrase Bismillah in an 18th-century Islamic calligraphy from the Ottoman region
Bowl with Kufic Calligraphy, 10th century. Brooklyn Museum
Example showing Nastaliq's proportional rules
Edward Johnston, founder of modern western calligraphy, at work in 1902
An example of Graily Hewitt's calligraphy
Calligraphy by one of Korea's most celebrated calligraphists, Kim Jeong-hui (1786-1856).
Modern Korean calligraphy. Hangeuls meaning "Wiktionary".

Certain specialty paper with high ink absorption and constant texture enables cleaner lines, although parchment or vellum is often used, as a knife can be used to erase imperfections and a light-box is not needed to allow lines to pass through it.


Domesticated species of goat-antelope typically kept as livestock.

Goat-herding is an ancient tradition that is still important in places like Egypt.
Goat-herding in Spain.
Horn cores from the Neolithic village of Atlit Yam
Skeleton (Capra hircus)
A white Irish goat with horns
Eye with horizontal pupil
Brown/tan goat with some white spotting
Goat heart. Specimen clarified for visualization of anatomical structures
Goat kid
A two-month-old goat kid in a field of capeweed
A female goat and two kids
A domestic goat feeding in a field of capeweed, a weed which is toxic to most stock animals
Goats blocking a road in Ladakh
Goats establish a dominance hierarchy in flocks, sometimes through head butting.
Glycerinated goat tongue
Goat husbandry is common through the Norte Chico region in Chile. Intensive goat husbandry in drylands may produce severe erosion and desertification. Image from upper Limarí River
Species-appropriate goat husbandry with stable and hay rack
Goats are important livestock for smallholder farmers in many countries, such as this woman from Burkina Faso.
The Boer goat – in this case a buck – is a widely kept meat breed.
A goat being machine milked on an organic farm
An Angora goat
Goats managing the landscape alongside German autobahn A59.
Goats following humans.
A Nigerian Dwarf milker in show clip. This doe is angular and dairy with a capacious and well supported mammary system.
An ancient Greek oenochoe depicting wild goats
Glazed brick depicting a wild goat, from Nimrud, Iraq, 9th–7th century BCE. Iraq Museum
Amalthée et la chèvre de Jupiter (Amalthea and Jupiter's goat); commissioned by the Queen of France in 1787 for the royal dairy at Rambouillet
A goat in the coat of arms Geta, a municipality of Åland
Baphomet, a deity commonly portrayed as having the head of a goat and a human body.
Feral goat in Aruba

It has also been used to produce parchment.


Person who works professionally in a library, providing access to information, and sometimes social or technical programming, or instruction on information literacy to users.

A librarian in a military base library helps an airman find an entry in a book.
Burgundian scribe Jean Miélot in his scriptorium (15th century)
Enlightenment era librarian in a library, 19th-century painting by Georg Reimer, National Museum in Warsaw
Librarians at work, National Library of Norway, 1946
A librarian's workspace at Newmarket Public Library in 2013. iPad, PC, eReader and laptop computer are required tools.
A patron in a library
Justin Winsor, Librarian of Congress, c. 1885
Southwest Collections / Special Collections Library at Texas Tech University, US
The Radcliffe Science Library, Oxford University
Courtney Young (2015), librarian and former president of the American Library Association
Ida Leeson (1933) Mitchell librarian
Presenters and recipients of the New York Times-Carnegie Corporation of New York I Love My Librarian awards, presented in association with the American Library Association

It is during this time that the first codex (book as opposed to scroll) enters popularity: the parchment codex.


Material similar to thick paper that was used in ancient times as a writing surface.

Papyrus (P. BM EA 10591 recto column IX, beginning of lines 13–17)
An official letter on a papyrus of the 3rd century BCE
A section of the Egyptian Book of the Dead written on papyrus
Roman portraiture fresco of a young man with a papyrus scroll, from Herculaneum, 1st century AD
Bill of sale for a donkey, papyrus; 19.3 by 7.2 cm, MS Gr SM2223, Houghton Library, Harvard University
Men splitting papyrus, Tomb of Puyemré; Metropolitan Museum of Art
Different ways of cutting papyrus stem and making of papyrus sheet
Papyrus plants near Syracuse, Sicily
Papyrus Flower on white background
The Heracles Papyrus
Drawing of a greater bird of paradise and the papyrus plant

In the first centuries BCE and CE, papyrus scrolls gained a rival as a writing surface in the form of parchment, which was prepared from animal skins.


Historic Ashkenazi mezuzah at the entrance to the monumental POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews (2014) in Warsaw, containing the Jewish parchment of the mezuzah
Ashkenazi mezuzah, as accepted in Rabbinical Judaism; the case is tilted and features the Hebrew letter (Shin), as is commonplace in such.
A Sephardic Macedonian mezuzah, as accepted in Rabbinical Judaism; the mezuzah case is vertical and features the Hebrew letter (Shin)
President of Israel Reuven Rivlin putting up a mezuzah at Beit HaNassi, 2017
Mezuzah affixed to a door frame.
Clear mezuzah case in Jerusalem, Israel
Samaritan Mezuzah in Israel, written exposed, in Samaritan Hebrew. This one reads, "Blessed is the One who said: I will look with favor upon you, and make you fertile and multiply you; and I will maintain My covenant with you. The LORD will open for you His bounteous store, the heavens, to provide rain for your land in season and to bless all your undertakings. "

A mezuzah (מְזוּזָה "doorpost"; plural: mezuzot) is a piece of parchment, known as a klaf, contained in a decorative case and inscribed with specific Hebrew verses from the Torah ( and ).


Manuscript page, either from a scroll or a book, from which the text has been scraped or washed off so that the page can be reused for another document.

The Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, a Greek manuscript of the Bible from the 5th century, is a palimpsest.
A Georgian palimpsest from the 5th or 6th century
Codex Nitriensis, with Greek text of Luke 9:22–33 (lower text)
Codex Nitriensis, with Syriac text (upper text)
The Wolfenbüttel Codex Guelferbytanus A

Parchment was made of lamb, calf, or goat kid skin and was expensive and not readily available, so in the interest of economy a page was often re-used by scraping off the previous writing.


Rich and powerful ancient Greek city in Mysia.

Ruins of the ancient city of Pergamon
City wall
Mithridates VI, portrait in the Louvre
Pergamon in the Roman province of Asia, 90 BC
Founding of Pergamon: depiction from the Telephos frieze of the Pergamon altar
Christian Wilberg: Excavation area of the Pergamon Altar. 1879 sketch.
The lower agora in 1902, during excavations
Roman bridge of Pergamon
The Great Altar of Pergamon, on display in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany
Foundations of the Pergamon altar.
Theatre of Pergamon, one of the steepest theatres in the world, has a capacity of 10,000 people and was constructed in the 3rd century BC.
The Trajaneum
Sanctuary of Dionysus at the north end of the theatre terrace
Temple of Athena
Reconstructed view of the Pergamon Acropolis, Friedrich Thierch, 1882
Gymnasium area near Upper Terrace
Temple and sanctuary of Hera from the west
Sanctuary of Demeter from the east
View of Acropolis from the Sanctuary of Asclepius
The Red Basilica
Possible coinage of the Greek ruler Gongylos, wearing the Persian cap on the reverse, as ruler of Pergamon for the Achaemenid Empire. Pergamon, Mysia, circa 450 BC. The name of the city ΠΕΡΓ ("PERG"), appears for the first on this coinage, and is the first evidence for the name of the city.<ref name="RD">{{cite book |last1=Dreyfus |first1=Renée |title=Pergamon: The Telephos Friez from the Great Altar; [exhibition, The Metrolopitan Museum of Art, New York, N. Y., 16 January - 14 April 1996...] |date=1996 |publisher=University of Texas Press |isbn=9780884010890 |page=104 |url= |language=en}}</ref>
Coin of Orontes, Achaemenid Satrap of Mysia (including Pergamon), Adramyteion. Circa 357-352 BC
Image of Philetaerus on a coin of Eumenes I
The Kingdom of Pergamon, shown at its greatest extent in 188 BC
Over-life-size portrait head, probably of Attalus I, from early in the reign of Eumenes II
A model of the acropolis of Pergamon, showing the situation in the 2nd century CE

Pergamon was also a flourishing center for the production of parchment (the word itself, a corruption of pergamenos, meaning "from Pergamon"), which had been used in Asia Minor long before the rise of the city.


Person who serves as a professional copyist, especially one who made copies of manuscripts before the invention of automatic printing.

Jean Miélot, a European author and scribe at work
Modern scribes with typewriters outside post office, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India, 2010
Egyptian scribe with papyrus scroll
Ancient Egyptian scribe's palette with five depressions for pigments and four styli
Cuneiform depiction
This early New Kingdom statue commemorates the scribe Minnakht ("Strength of Min") and demonstrates how ancient scribes read papyri – in a seated position on the floor with the text on their lap.
Jewish scribes at the Tomb of Ezekiel in Iraq, c. undefined 1914
Monastic scribes copying manuscripts. Miniature from the manuscript "Werken", manufactured by Jan van Ruusbroec in Bergen-op-Zoom. Published in 1480.

Sofers (Jewish scribes) are among the few scribes that still do their trade by hand, writing on parchment.

Sefer Torah

Handwritten copy of the Torah, meaning the five books of Moses (the first books of the Hebrew Bible).

A Sephardic Torah scroll rolled to the first paragraph of the Shema.
An Ashkenaz Torah scroll rolled to the Decalogue.
Torah cases at Tiphearth Israel Synagogue, Mumbai, India
Torah cases at Knesset Eliyahoo Synagogue, Mumbai, India
A sterling silver Torah case. In some traditions the Torah is housed in an ornamental wooden case.
A 200-year-old Yemenite Torah scroll, on gevil, from the Rambam Synagogue in Nahalat Ahim, Jerusalem. The sofer (scribe) was from the Sharabi family.
Ingredients used in making ink for Hebrew scrolls today.
A Sterling Silver Torah Breast Plate - or Hoshen - often decorate Torah Scrolls.
A set of sterling silver finials (rimmonim, from the Hebrew for "pomegranate") are used to decorate the top ends of the rollers.
Traditional Oriental Torah cases
Torah scrolls are escorted into a new synagogue in Kfar Maimon, Israel, 2006

According to halakha (Jewish law), a Sefer Torah is a copy of the Hebrew text of the Torah handwritten on special types of parchment by using a quill or another permitted writing utensil, dipped in ink.