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.

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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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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

Papal bull for Königsfelden Abbey, 1333

Written in a diplomatic minuscule the script is tipical for the papal chancery of the 14th century. Abbreviations are transcribed using according Unicode characters.

University protocol, 1798

This document is a fair copy of a collection of minutes of the formal meetings of the head office of the University of Greifswald in 1797-1798. The original document is held by the Archives of the University of Greifswald. The fair copy is written in cursive letters.

Easy Learning - "The Three Strangers", Cöntgen Kanzley, English

This is an "Easy Learning" document. It is a computer transcription of "The Three Strangers" in Cöntgen Kanzley script. "The Three Strangers" is a short story by Thomas Hardy from 1883. The story is a pastoral history told by an omniscient narrator more than 50 years after the event.

Easy Learning - "Erlkönig", Wiegel script, German

This is an "Easy Learning" document. It is a computer transcription of the "Erlkönig" in Wiegel script. "Erlkönig" is a ballad written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1782. It is one of his most famous works and was set to music by Franz Schubert and Carl Loewe, among others.

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.

Easy Learning - "Erlkönig", Wiegel script, English

This is an "Easy Learning" document. It is a computer transcription of the "Erlkönig" in Wiegel script. "Erlkönig" is a ballad written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1782. This version has been translated and written by Edgar Alfred Bowringin 1853.