"had no books or parchments"

An English deed hand-written on fine vellum - 1638
Public DomainAn English deed hand-written on fine vellum - 1638 - Credit: Randy Benzie
 Parchment is the skin of a sheep or goat prepared as a thin material on which to write or paint; the finer qualities of parchment are called vellum. The word parchment is also used to indicate the manuscript, bookbinding, etc., made of this material. The use of parchment dates back to at least the 6th century BC.