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Kathy Beckett

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Palaeography -How Cool is This?

Palaeography is the study and the interpretation of ancient writings. Involved in this process is transcription of manuscript texts.

I was delighted to know that there are free video courses offered for this study. Here is one video from the course offered by Stanford University :

Their course, "Digging Deeper", is offered in two parts, and includes a section called "Practical Palaeography" in which you practice transcription, and submit your work.(You can sign up for this class and receive a Certificate upon completion.)

Certainly, this is a surface study, but it allows you to become acquainted with it.

Additionally, there are several other sites which add to the study:

From the School of Advanced Study, University of London. The first module is free; the second on Script costs £25. Future modules are promised on Diplomatic, Codicology and Illumination.


Album of Palaeography
A free set of transcription exercises covering a variety of scripts developed by Marjorie Burghart (University of Lyon 2) et al. (In French and English.)

English Handwriting, 1500-1700A free course from the University of Cambridge focusing specifically on later medieval and early modern scripts.


Palaeography: Reading old handwriting 1500-1800
A free tutorial from The National Archives (UK), focusing on later scripts. Accompanied by a Beginners’ Latin tutorial


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