The fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD He saw the decline of the culture of ancient Rome. Papyrus became difficult to obtain due to the lack of contact with Egypt, and the parchment, which had been used for centuries, became the main writing material. Parchment is a material in animal skin treatment mainly used in the past to write. Parchment is most often made from calf leather, sheep or goat. It has been historically used for writing materials, notes or pages of a book. Parchment is the project, scratching and drying under tension. It is not tan, and is so different from leather. This makes it more suitable for writing, but leaves very reactive to changes in relative humidity and makes the leather again if it is too wet.

Monasteries traditionally performed Latin writing in the Western Roman Empire. Cassiodorus, in the monastery of Vivarium (established around 540), stressed the importance of copying texts. St. Benedict of Nursia, in his Rule of St. Benedict (completed in the middle of the sixth century), also favored reading. Rule of St. Benedict (Chapter XLVIII), which canceled certain periods of reading, greatly influenced the monastic culture of the Middle Ages and is one of the reasons why the clergy were the predominant readers of books. Tradition and style of the Roman Empire still dominated, but it came slowly to the particular culture of medieval book.

Before the invention and adoption of the printing press, almost all books have been copied by hand, making books are expensive and relatively rare. In general, the small monasteries had only a few dozen pounds, averages maybe a few hundred. In the ninth century, they had the largest collections around 500 volumes and even at the end of the Middle Ages, the papal library in the library Avignon and Paris Sorbonne contains only about 2000 volumes
The scriptorium of the monastery was generally located in the chapter house. Artificial light was forbidden for fear that they could damage the manuscripts. There were five types of scribes:

Calligraphers, which dealt with the production of books
Copiers, who handled basic production and correspondence
Repectors, who compiled and compared a finished book with the manuscript that had taken place
Illuminators, who painted illustrations
Rubricators, who painted in red letters
The betting process was long and laborious. The parchment had to be prepared, then unrelated pages were planned and governed by a blunt or lead tool, after the text was written by the scribe, who left empty areas usually for illustration and initialing. Finally, the book was bound by the bookbinder.

Different types of ink known in antiquity, most often prepared from soot and gum, and later nutcracker and vitriol iron. This gave the writing of a black brown, but black or brown are not the only colors used. There are texts written in red or gold and different colors were used for lighting. For very luxurious manuscripts, the scrolling set was purple, and the text was written on it of gold or silver (for example, the Codex Argenteus).

Irish monks introduced spacing between words in the seventh century. This makes reading easier since these monks tend to be less familiar with Latin. However, the use of spaces between words did not become common before the twelfth century. It has been argued that the use of word spacing shows the transition from silent semi-vocal reading to reading.

The first books used parchment or vellum (veal skin) for the pages. The book covers were of wood and covered with leather. Due to the dried parchment tends to take the form it had before the treatment books were equipped with snaps or straps. During the late Middle Ages, when public libraries appeared, until the 18th century, books were often chained to a shelf or office to prevent theft. These chained books are called libri catenati.

At first, the books were copied mainly in the monasteries, one at a time. With the rise of universities in the culture of the manuscript of the thirteenth century time, it led to an increase in demand for books, and a new system for copying books appeared. The books were divided into unrelated sheets (de pecia), which volunteered to different copyists, so that the speed of book production increased considerably. The system was updated by secular stationary corporations, which produced religious and non-religious material.

Judaism has kept art alive to the present type. According to Jewish tradition, the scroll of the Torah placed in a synagogue must be handwritten on parchment and a printed book would not, although the congregation may use printed prayer books and paper copies of the scriptures are used to Study outside synagogue. A “type” Sofer is a highly respected member of any observant Jewish community.