Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Palaeography: Reading Old Handwriting

Palaeography: Reading Old Handwriting 1500 - 1800 from The (U.K.) National Archives will be useful to anyone confronted with a seemingly unintelligible bit of writing. There are helpful tips ("If you know the phrases which are likely to appear in a particular document, you will be able to read them easily when they appear"), and examples of nasty abbreviations now (fortunately) extinct.

The included tutorial offers ten documents of increasing difficulty—the tenth written by an especially malicious scribe. Under the heading Further Practice you'll find other documents from the 16th through 18th centuries to transcribe—should you enjoy that sort of thing.