Sunday, August 12, 2007

What in the World is Paleography?

Have you ever been searching older records and struggled with the spelling of a name or place because of the handwriting? There is a website that has a tutorial that instructs you regarding the art of reading old handwriting. The site is housed in "The National Archives" for the United Kingdom website. The tutorial is divided into the following sections:

Introduction
Where to start
Quick reference
Interactive tutorial
Further practice
Game - ducking stool
Further reading

The tutorial is very informative and explains how to proceed with deciphering the old handwriting. Once you have completed your tutorial, you can check your understanding, comprehension, and skills at reading the old handwriting by playing a game where you have to transcribe a word from the old to present day handwriting. Sadly, I must report that I failed in my first attempt. I will have to go through the tutorial frequently until I understand it completely.

If you are looking for a way to understand those older records, this website will provide you with an education with practice in transcribing the old records. If you make a mistake in the transcription, the site tells you and you can try again. I feel that this site will prove to be of great value to those of you who are trying to work with old records. Click here to be directed to the Introduction to Paleography Web site
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