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Tacuini sanitatis Elluchasem Elimithar medici de Baldath

Ibn Buṭlān, -approximately 1068
Argentorati : Apud Joannem Schottum
Darby Collection, Eskind Biomedical Library

The earliest examples of paper were not made from wood pulp, but rather from cotton or linen pulp. And until around the year 1800, every sheet of paper was made by hand. This book shows evidence of its handmade paper in the chain lines visible on each page. The lines are impressions from the wire frame on a paper mould, and the orientation of these lines helps bibliographers today to determine the original size of sheets and how they were folded or arranged for printing before the pages were cut. While still a laborious process, paper from rags was a remarkable invention that made books far more affordable and efficient to create than its parchment predecessor.