Reading Old Handwriting
Have you ever struggled to make sense of the handwriting in an
old document? Would you like to learn to read and interpret
historical handwriting? Our series of four palaeography workshops
will show you how to read writing styles from the 16th to the 19th
centuries and give you lots of hints and tips to help your
research. Suitable for family and local historians, students, and
anyone with an interest in the subject, from beginner level
About the course
The workshops are run by one of our archivists, who will introduce
you to different forms of historical handwriting and guide you
through reading different types of documents. We will read through
example documents from our collections as a group, so you’ll be
able to put your new knowledge into practice at every
Each participant will receive a pack containing copies of all the
documents used as examples, along with useful reference
information. The documents we’ll look at are all in English and
show the most common writing styles found in English local
Week One: Introduction to Palaeography.
Discover the development of handwriting from medieval times to the
Victorians. Learn how to transcribe documents and find out some
hints and tips for making sense of tricky words.
Week Two: Wills and Inventories. Learn the
different sections of a will and find out what might appear in an
Week Three: Deeds. Discover the basics of the
different types of deeds which you’re likely to find in local
Week Four: Letters. Weeks one to three
concentrate on formal handwriting – personal letters have more
diverse styles! We’ll practice reading some letters from our
collections and discuss the most common issues with reading
Dates: Wednesdays 1 March, 8 March, 15 March
and 22 March 2017, 10am-12pm.
Cost: £32 for all four workshops.
We recommend taking all four workshops together, but if you’d like
to book a single workshop the cost is £10.
The course is suitable for family and local historians,
students, and anyone with an interest in the subject, whether
you’re a complete beginner or you’ve had a bit of
Places are limited so book early! To book your
place email us, call us on
01482 317500, or pop in and see us.