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Re: source of vellum for Gutenberg

Michael, There was a very interesting article in Peritia vol. 8 (Journal
of the Medieval Academy of Ireland) about the numbers of animals, their
size and age, used for several large early Irish vellum (calf)
manuscripts which might be of interest to you. The article goes into some
detail on the methodology of these sorts of calculations, including the
differences between modern and medieval (or early modern?) size averages
for livestock.  I have the journal at home, so I can send you the exact
reference if you think the article would be of interest to you.
Dorothy Africa

On Wed, 12 Jun 1996, Michael Durgin wrote:

> I'm trying to track down which animal(s), if known, and approximately how
> many, were used to create the vellum/parchment used for the thirty copies of
> Gutenberg's 42-line bible which weren't printed on paper.  Dard Hunter says
> c. 300 sheep per copy.  Is this as good an estimate and identification as
> any?  Any votes for goats or calves?
> thanks
> Michael Durgin / Hand Papermaking

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