Vellum Document Deed Scanning in Oxfordshire

One of our most interesting orders came in today in the form of a vellum property deed dating back nearly 200 years. We were asked to prepare a digital copy so our client could preserve the original.

After assessment we decided on which scanner to use and scanned the deed to a high quality Archival TIFF file before applying post production tone and sharpening. The results were stunning and a wonderful image produced.

Interesting fact: 

To ensure you could prove a duplicate copy, some deeds had a defined curved wave cut out at the top. This meant the original's replica could be matched 100% to the original, safeguarding fraud.

What is vellum?

Vellum is prepared animal skin or "membrane", typically used as a material for writing or printing on, to produce single pages, scrolls, codices or books. The word is derived from the Latin word vitulinum meaning "made from calf". Typically deeds are folded and stored. Although vellum is a strong material the folding can mean difficulties in scanning. We are well versed in dealing with these problems which supports the end results.

Another animal skin was called Parchment, made from other animals.

Vellum, a higher quality is generally smooth and durable, although there are great variations depending on preparation and the quality of the skin. The manufacture involves the cleaning, bleaching, stretching on a frame and scraping of the skin with a crescent-shaped knife to create tension, scraping is alternated with wetting and drying. A final finish may be achieved by abrading the surface with pumice, and treating with a preparation of lime or chalk to make it accept writing or printing ink.

For advice on your scanning requirements please contact

Oxford Duplication Centre

29 Rear Part Banbury Road Kidlington Oxford OX5 1AQ. 

Tel: 01865 457000

Oxford Duplication Centre


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