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


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Newest Documents

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/

Cooking book (Sütterlin), 1926

This is an example of a very carefully written Sütterlin script from 1926. The place of writing is Styria in Austria. The writing closely resembles standard school script. This is a cooking book, therefore a lot of special words (mainly from Austrian cuisine) are included.

Council protocol of Bozen (Hs. 115), 1792

This document is written in an eighteenth-century German kurrent script. Foreign words are given in Roman letters. There are a lot of abbreviations in the text. The text is also highly standardised.

Letters of Erdmuthe Benigna Reuß-Ebersdorf, German, 18thc

The document provides several letters of the countess Erdmuthe Benigna von Reuß-Ebersdorf (1670-1732) from her reign. The writing is very idiosyncratic. Since the scribe has not received any professional training, the spelling differs significantly from that of her contemporaries. Especially striking is the spelling of the word syllables separated by spatia and the frequent, sometimes arbitrary alternation of Kurrent and Antiqua as well as upper and lower case letters. She uses long-s and y with trema. From the Digital Scholarly Edition of the Letters of Erdmuthe Benigna Reuß-Ebersdorf (1670-1732), Jena 2017; http://erdmuthe.thulb.uni-jena.de/erdmuthe-digitale-edition/start.html.

Documents For Beginners

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 - "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.

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.