The primary purpose of this
site is to provide online tuition in palaeography (reading old handwriting)
in the context of early modern Scottish historical documents. It is aimed
mainly at those whose research involves reading Scottish historical records
written in the period 1500-1750,although some assistance is given with
19th century writing too.
There are three key elements of successful palaeography in this period:
Whatever your level of palaeographical ability, our interactive tutorials
and weekly posers will help you study the characteristics of Scottish handwriting
and improve or maintain your reading speed. Regular use of our coaching
manual should develop your technique and may help you overcome specific
problems when you 'get stuck' while reading a document. There are also links
to other online palaeography websites, and details of dictionaries, glossaries
and other useful publications.
- Studying secretary hand (a form of handwriting common in Western Europe in the period), and other characteristics of handwritten records, such as methods of abbreviating handwriting.
- Keeping up reading speed through regular practice.
- Having help at hand for difficult words, such as dictionaries of the Scots, English and Latin languages, gazetteers, and specialist glossaries.
ScottishHandwriting.com was originally
devised in 2001 by the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN). In 2006 the website
was completely redesigned and the content revised by the National Archives
of Scotland (now the National Records of Scotland).
Content for Scottish Handwriting.com has been provided by archivists
in Scotland and researchers who use Scottish archives and historical records.
If you are interested in contributing weekly posers or other content contact