Parchment is a writing material made from specially prepared untanned skins of animals—primarily sheep, calves, and goats. It has been used as a writing medium for over two millennia. Vellum is a finer quality parchment made from the skins of young animals such as lambs and young calves.

Central European (Northern) type of finished parchment made of goatskin stretched on a wooden frame
Parchment with a quill and ink

It may be called animal membrane by libraries and museums that wish to avoid distinguishing between parchment and the more-restricted term vellum (see below).

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