Learn to read historic handwriting

Provides you with hundreds of exercises drawn from original manuscripts

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Practice and test yourself with just a mouse click or on your mobile phone – and get instant feedback on your ability to correctly read a manuscript.

Educational

Example transcriptions are provided by scholars and experts in the field of palaeography. Explore the fascinating world of ancient writing.

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As a teacher or palaeographer you can add your own manuscripts and make them available to your students, or interest group.

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Newest Documents

Jeremy Bentham (easier handwriting), 1822

These documents consist of personal papers written by the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and his secretaries. Original copies of these documents are held at University College London. This is a sample of easier handwriting which is suitable for beginners. Volunteers working on the Transcribe Bentham crowdsourcing initiative (http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/transcribe-bentham/) may like to use these documents to practice deciphering Bentham’s handwriting.

Military Textbook, 1879

This is a textbook about military science for students of Military Academy class in 1894/95. It contains three parts: 1. Military Geography by Milivoj J. Nikolajević 2. Statistics by Milivoj J. Nikolajević 3. International War Law by Mulitin Miljković.

Council records, 1780/81

This document is a 18th century german cursive script. Highlighted words are written in roman letters. It offers the council records of the University of Greifswald.

Death Registers - Johann Baptist Ritzinger, 1847-1878

This document provides excerpts from parish registers in the Passau Diocese (19th century), which were recorded by priest Johann Baptist Ritzinger from 1849 to 1885. Johann Baptist Ritzinger served as priest in the parishes Engertsham (1849-1860), Alzgern (1860-1885). The original documents are held by the Passau Diocesan Archives and can be fully viewed on http://data.matricula-online.eu/de/deutschland/passau/

Documents For Beginners

Easy Learning - "Pride and Prejudice", 18th Century Kurrent, English

This is an "Easy Learning" document. It is a computer transcription of "Pride and Prejudice" in 18th Century Kurrent script. Pride and Prejudice is a romantic novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story charts the emotional development of the protagonist, Elizabeth Bennet, who learns the error of making hasty judgments and comes to appreciate the difference between the superficial and the essential.

Letters to the Government of Bengal, 1790

Copies of letters sent to the Government of Bengal by botanists, including Robert Kyd and Dr William Roxburgh, reporting on the cultivation of Mawah and Teak trees, the discovery of a new species of Indigo (Nerium tinctorium), and attempts to propagate the Cochineal insect in the Calcutta Nopalry garden. The letters are written in a large, consistent italic cursive. The writer often embellishes capital letters with flourishes, and uses ampersands (&). Contracted words are often indicated with superscript final letters.

Easy Learning - "The Secret Adversary", Cöntgen Kanzley, English

This is an "Easy Learning" document. It is a computer transcription of "The Secret Adversary" in Cöntgen Kanzley script. "The Secret Adversary" is the second published detective fiction novel by British writer Agatha Christie, first published in January 1922 in the United Kingdom.

Jeremy Bentham (easier handwriting), 1822

These documents consist of personal papers written by the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and his secretaries. Original copies of these documents are held at University College London. This is a sample of easier handwriting which is suitable for beginners. Volunteers working on the Transcribe Bentham crowdsourcing initiative (http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/transcribe-bentham/) may like to use these documents to practice deciphering Bentham’s handwriting.