Handwriting Course

The slate of course lessons offered below has been carefully structured around a selection of resources. Each lesson includes a central manuscript, for which the student is invited to supply a semi-diplomatic transcription in a workspace provided within the course. Alphabets of minuscule and majuscule letter-forms and of brevigraphs and other abbreviations are available, as are a zooming function. Students may also consult supplementary information on dating and describing the hand(s) of the manuscript. Each lesson concludes with a short test, usually of about ten questions, that examines students' abilities to transcribe short selections from the manuscript, afterwards supplying the 'correct' answer along with commentary and suggestions for further consideration. Students may at any time consult an exemplary transcription of each course manuscript, and are especially urged to do so once the lesson is otherwise complete; a PDF version of this file may be downloaded (and printed) to take away as a model. A student who has experienced particular trouble with a given lesson, or who would like further practice of a similar kind, may like to pursue the 'follow-up' suggestions available in the toolbar in the bottom frame.

The efficacy of these course lessons depends on the application and resourcefulness of the student. Suggestions for good use of the materials, and help (both palaeographical and technical) is available at all times; simply click on the question-mark icon at the bottom right of the lesson.

Course Lessons

16th and 17th Century Hands

15th Century Hands

These 5 lessons offer an overview of 5 different styles of writing from the mid to late 15th century. They are all of moderate difficulty.

Lesson 29
Stephen Scrope, Epistle of Othea
St John's College Library H.5 , f. 34r
Difficulty Rating: 3
Transcription Exercise | Transcription Test
Lesson 30
John Barbour, The Bruce
St John's College Library G. 23 , f. 47r
Difficulty Rating: 3
Transcription Exercise | Transcription Test
Lesson 31
The Chastising of God's Children.
St John's College Library E.25 , f. 47r.
Difficulty Rating: 3
Transcription Exercise | Transcription Test
Lesson 32
John Walton's verse translation of Boethius, De consolatione philosophiae.
St John's College Library G.29 , f. 11r, col. a.
Difficulty Rating: 3
Transcription Exercise | Transcription Test
Lesson 33
The Mirror of Simple Souls
St John's College Library C.21 , f. 2v
Difficulty Rating: 3
Transcription Exercise | Transcription Test

 

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