Quill Books before print mediamediamediamediamediamedia
choosing a writing support
making quires and sheets
preparing the page
copying the text
correcting the text
decorating the book
binding the book
using the book
> Choosing a Writing Support > Parchment > Offcuts

Yellow sticky note

When the scribe cut sheets out of the animal hide, he would normally use the best part of the skin - what may be called the 'prime cut'. This meant staying clear of the very edge of the skin because these areas were very thin and translucent, and deemed unsuitable for books. The scribe therefore cut a rim of parchment from the edge of the skin. It usually came off in tiny bits and pieces, which he called 'schedulae' - strips.
These odds and ends were thrown in the bin. Sometimes they were taken out to be used as scraps, for example for taking notes in the classroom. They also served as smaller pages inserted into existing manuscripts, as seen in this image. Tipped into the quire, these tiny pages supplemented the text or added notes, like yellow sticky notes.