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Subject: Parchment production in North America

Parchment production in North America

From: Ala Rekrut <ala.rekrut>
Date: Monday, November 5, 2007
Among our holdings are many maps and architectural plans which are
drawn on parchment.  While some were clearly drawn in Europe, others
were drawn at fur trade posts in what is now Canada.  It is likely
the parchments for the locally drawn maps were brought to the posts
along with other stationery supplies, but there has also been
speculation that these might be drawn on locally sourced deerskin
parchment.  Fur trade records have referred to deerskin parchment,
but because the records also refer to buffalo parchment, and because
at least one account suggest these parchments had far less trade
value than furs, I assume the skins referred to are not "true"
parchment prepared with lime, but simply un-tanned and de-haired
hides.

Can anyone shed light on the use of the term parchment, or on the
manufacture of true parchment, in North America c. 1700-1900?

Ala Rekrut
Manager, Preservation Services
Archives of Manitoba
130-200 Vaughan Street
Winnipeg, MB Canada R3C 1T5
204-945-1265
Fax: 204-948-2672


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Received on Monday, 5 November, 2007

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