vellum

(redirected from vellums)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

parchment

parchment, untanned skins of animals, especially of the sheep, calf, and goat, prepared for use as a writing material. The name is a corruption of Pergamum, the ancient city of Asia Minor where preparation of parchment suitable for use on both sides was achieved in the 2d cent. B.C. Parchment, which is more durable than papyrus and susceptible of being folded into book form, very gradually superseded papyrus. In Europe it gave way to paper for use in books only after the advent of printing. The skins were soaked in water, treated with lime to loosen the hair, scraped, washed, stretched, and dried, and then rubbed with chalk and pumice stone. A fine grade prepared from the skin of the calf or kid became known as vellum, a name applied during the Middle Ages to any parchment used in manuscripts. For important manuscripts vellum was often dyed purple. Parchment is still used for certain documents and diplomas, for bookbindings and lampshades, and for the heads of drums, tambourines, and banjos. Vegetable parchment is paper treated to make it tough, translucent, and impervious to water.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

vellum

[′vel·əm]
(materials)
A high-grade paper made to resemble genuine parchment.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in classic literature ?
I say signature; because its position upon the vellum suggested this idea.
"I held the vellum again to the fire, after increasing the heat; but nothing appeared.
Mahbub had business at Quetta, and there Kim, as Mahbub admitted, earned his keep, and perhaps a little over, by spending four curious days as scullion in the house of a fat Commissariat sergeant, from whose office-box, in an auspicious moment, he removed a little vellum ledger which he copied out - it seemed to deal entirely with cattle and camel sales - by moonlight, lying behind an outhouse, all through one hot night.
The leaves were of the finest vellum, with tastefully designed illuminations all round them.
We learn of his friend, fellow scholar, and fellow Icelander Pormodur Torfason, who asks Arni to check whether his deerskin underpants have been found in the guest-house in which he stayed while visiting Arni in Copenhagen, and of Arni's later years, during which colleagues mischievously suspected he 'sat at home gnawing on his old vellums' (p.
Chapter 1 also contains a very useful table showing numbers of extant Icelandic manuscripts and charters, divided into categories of vellum and paper, by century between 1101 and 1600 (p.