(photograph by Andrew Buchanan)
Convenors: Dr Esther van Raamsdonk and Aidan Norrie
All classes will be taught virtually via Microsoft Teams
This course will familiarise students with English handwriting from the period 1500 to 1700. It will give students the skills to work with a range of English primary sources from the early modern period. Students will build a strong knowledge of early modern hands. The course will cover secretary, italic, and mixed scripts, both formal and informal. Students will learn common abbreviations used in handwritten documents, as well as the idiosyncratic letter forms that make primary sources from the period initially seem so difficult to transcribe.
You should finish the course feeling secure in your ability to engage with handwritten documents of the period. You should also feel confident to go forward and transcribe primary sources relevant to your research.
Seminars will involve individual and group work on a wide range of documents such as literary texts, religious texts, letters, parliamentary documents, financial accounts, and recipes.
The course will culminate in an informal exam.
Useful online resources and bibliography can be found on this page (right) and will be updated periodically.
Places are limited. Students not enrolled in the Renaissance Centre pay £25 per course at the beginning of term. To apply to join this class, please complete the application form here, or for other enquiries, contact the Centre administrator on firstname.lastname@example.org
Indicative Course Structure:
|1.||Introduction to Palaeography and Printed Texts|
|2.||Introduction to Secretary Hand|
|3.||Abbreviations and Numbers in Secretary and Italic Hand|
|4.||Parliament/Government Documents in Secretary Hand|
|5.||Parliament and Government in Italic Hand|
|6.||Letters in Secretary Hand and Italic Hand|
|7.||Miscellaneous Week (Mixed Hands)|
|8.||Conventions of Transcriptions and Test|
Early Modern English Palaeography:
English Palaeography 1350-1500:
Medieval Manuscripts app for iPhone and Android: http://www.agbooth.com/handwriting/iOS/medieval/
Late Medieval English Scribes https://www.medievalscribes.com/
The Auchinleck manuscript: http://auchinleck.nls.uk/
The Cotton Nero A.x Project: http://gawain-ms.ca/
The Piers Plowman Electronic Archive: http://piers.iath.virginia.edu/index.html