I did not know that parchment had remained in use until the present day by this august institution, but I am disappointed that the tradition is ending. While it is true that high-quality paper lasts for centuries, parchment lasts longer. The cost doesn’t seem high enough to make much difference in a country’s budget. Will sixteenth-century Acts of Parliament still be available to scholars when the 21st-century ones have crumbled to dust?

I had not thought about this question before: what style of handwriting was used through the twentieth century for the written-on-parchment records of the British Parliament? I’ve never looked at anything later than the 17th century.

3 thoughts on “Oh, Parliament . . .

  1. I wondered about the handwriting, too. But since the article didn’t mention writing by hand in its discussion of the laboriousness of using vellum, I wondered whether they just had a special laser printer or something.

  2. The NY Times ought to know that for people interested in reading about vellum, these are vital questions. Handwritten or printed? What kind of ink?

Comments are now closed.