English Paleography

Current faculty: Vanessa Wilkie


This course is designed to teach students the skills to read various English scripts used between 1400 and 1650, with a heavy emphasis on English secretary hand.  No former paleography or non-English language training is necessary.  Participants will gain an introduction to various formats for early modern English manuscripts, like correspondence and indentures, among other forms of documents frequently encountered in archives.  We will also cover the conventions of early modern English currency, dates and calendars, common abbreviations, and numbers.  Each participant will receive a quill, ink, and handmade paper as learning to write with a quill is a quintessential part of learning to read early modern manuscripts.

Years taught: 2018, 2020, 2022