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This article outlines how the course is structured.
An oath to be sworn by fornicators in Crawfordjohn
© University of Glasgow

We have used a range of media and resources to help you learn more about early modern Scotland, record-keeping and palaeography.

The course is structured around several key features to enhance your learning experience.

We have drafted several dedicated articles which draw on our collective experience and that of the wider historical community to give you the latest information on research into early modern Scotland.

The articles will give you an overview of the early modern period, the records generated by Scottish society, and the Church of Scotland.

Particular focus will be placed on the kirk sessions – that is, the parochial church courts of the national church.

As the kirk session minute books are arguably the most important manuscript sources for our understanding of local society, we have given these special attention. In addition to your exploration of their language, structure, nature and content, you will have the opportunity to transcribe passages from the minute books yourself.

However, before you can begin reading and transcribing these documents, you will need to get to grips with the basics of early modern Scottish palaeography. As such, you will have the opportunity to watch a series of programmes by Dr Lionel Glassey. Lionel has drawn on his extensive expertise to provide video lessons on palaeography. They cover a range of topics, such as handwriting styles, abbreviations, numerals, letter shapes, and much, much more.

Each video is supplemented with a quiz. These will not only test your recall and knowledge, but deepen your learning and understanding of Lionel’s material. Remember: you can watch the videos as many times as you like, so do not hesitate to go back if need be.

Beyond the articles, videos and quizzes, we have utilised a number of helpful resources for the study of early modern Scottish history. These include the Dictionary of the Scots Language, Scotland’s Places, Scottish Handwriting (maintained by the National Records of Scotland), and the Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae – a multi-volume book on the Protestant ministry now available online. Each of these will broaden your knowledge of the period and give you the chance to put your developing skills to the test.

All that remains is to thank you for signing up. We hope you enjoy the course!

© University of Glasgow
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Early Modern Scottish Palaeography: Reading Scotland's Records

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