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[BKARTS] PARCHMENT MAKING WITH JESSE MEYER - A GBW Workshop offered by the Delaware Valley Book Workers, May 20-2, 2005

A GBW Workshop offered by the Delaware Valley Book Workers


A Two-Day Field Trip to the Richard E. Meyer & Sons Tannery
in Montgomery, NY
Friday and Saturday, May 20th & 21st, 2005

³That stouffe that we wrytte upon: & is made of beestis skynnes: is sometyme
called parchment/ sometyme velem/ somtyme abortyve/ somtyme membraan.²
-Vulgaria uiri doctissimi Guil Hormani, 1519

Parchment, or vellum, is one of the oldest and most durable of bookbinding
materials, both as a covering material and as a text support. It was the
principle "plastic" material of the Middle Ages, and remains one of the
strongest, most sensuous, and most archival of natural materials available
to the bookbinder and calligrapher. Its alkalinity makes it an ideal
material for conservation purposes. Join the Delaware Valley Chapter as we make
a field trip to the Richard E. Meyer & Sons Tannery, where we will spend two
days producing vellum. On Friday we will be involved in "wet work", taking
the fresh skins through the dehairing stage to the point of stretching and
scraping them on the frame. We will also learn about the dyeing process.
Saturday will be spent on the "dry work", the finishing processes of the
skins, and will end with sanding the skins to proper thickness and trimming.
We will also get a tour of the complete Tannery facilities. Jesse Meyer's
family has been in the leather tannery business for 450 years. They have
been tanning in this country since the early 1800's, and since the 1500's in
Germany. Jesse brought his lineage and expertise into the craft of parchment
making. For years he has been the leading parchment maker in the United

This event is both a unique opportunity and a rare bargain. Every
participant will come away with two vellum skins: one dyed goatskin and one
fair calf.

Montgomery, NY is located under 2 and half hours from Philadelphia. Carpooling
will be arranged from other areas.

A listing of hotels and B & B's and hotels is provided below for those wishing to stay over Friday night.

2 Bed & Breakfasts, in particular, are close by within the town of Montgomery:
The Mead-Tooker House
136 Clinton Street, Montgomery

Pioneer Cottage
30 Paul Lane
Walden NY 12586

 The Pioneer House
Rte. 208, Montgomery

A list of other B & B's can be found at:
and hotels:
American Budget Inn: 845.783.3211
Comfort Inn: 845.567.0567
Marriott Courtyard: 845.567.4800
Howard Johnson: 845.564.4000
Ramada Inn: 845.564.4500
Holiday Inn: 845.564.9020

A preview of Jesse's parchment making facilities can be seen at his website:

The workshop fee is: $175.00 GBW Members, $190.00 non-members. The materials fee is: $35. A check holds your spot. Fee is non-refundable after May 9.

To register for this workshop please send the form below with a check made payable to the Guild Of Book Workers and mail to Jennifer Rosner,

c/o The Library Company, 1314 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

QUESTIONS: Call Denise Carbone at 215-440-3413 (day) or 856-784-7526 (eve)


Name ___________________________________________________________




Member______ Non-member______

Denise Carbone
Book Conservator
The American Philosophical Society
105 S. 5th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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