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Old Vellum

In response to Paul Werner's posting about a cache of 18th & 19th C. vellum,
I must vehemently disagree that historical documents are a good source of
vellum for amateur binders & calligraphers.  This thinking totally negates
the historical value of these documents.  Research collections around the
world are built up of documents exactly like these and the idea that
"there's not much you'd want to hold onto" is absurd.  Most writing from
this era is beautiful and worthy of study by calligraphers.  How could
someone who wants to study & learn calligraphy & fine penmanship, take an
example of it & obliterate it for practice?  Sorry, but this doesn't make
any sense.

These documents are part of someone's cultural heritage should be in
research collections and archives for study & for the historical information
that they contain.  Deeds, contracts & indentures are valuable to historians
and genealogists, at the very least.

I would advise Mr. Jackson to have a manuscript appraiser assess the value
of the collection.  There maybe manuscript dealers who would pay a whole lot
more than $25 each for this collection.  One of the NY auction houses maybe
another venue for a public auction of such a collection.  This would bring
it at least to the attention of institution who may collection this type of
material.  Lastly, consider selling on eBay.

In a time when stories of the destruction of cultural artefacts in Bosnia &
Central Europe make the news, I cannot understand why anyone would suggest
that historical documents are a cheap source of art materials.  Thank you.

>Date:    Mon, 28 Aug 2000 17:35:55 -0400
>From:    Paul T Werner <ptw1@IS6.NYU.EDU>
>Subject: WOID #IV-34. Adventures in the Skin Trade.

>Kevin Jackson has a large cache of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century
>vellum sheets - and they're cheap.

>Okay, they're all covered with writing: contracts, indentures, that kind
>of thing. You'd have to spend a considerable amount of time scraping it
>off, but at $25.00 and up for a large sheet, it's still a good deal. And
>no, as writing goes there's not much you'd want to hold onto - trust me,
>Ross. Plus, you get to find out what it was like to write on vellum in the
>eighteenth century. Or at least you get to find out what it's like to
>write on eighteenth-century vellum. Or to bind with it.

Bryan L. W. Draper
Special Collections Assistant
The Library of Virginia
800 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219-1905
Tel:  (804) 692-3704
Fax: (804) 692-3709
Email:  bdraper@lva.lib.va.us

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