Skip main navigation

Learning to transcribe

Welcome to week 3! Last week you learned about numerals and monetary systems, discovered various letter shapes, explored the kirk session records, and engaged with the early Reformation in Perth. …

Applying your new skills

Congratulations on completing the course! In truth, however, this is just the beginning. The ability to read early modern handwriting is a skill that continues to develop with practice and …

Tutorial and links

In addition to the knowledge you have acquired, the links below offer optional tutorials which will help you enhance your skills. The site allows you to enter your answers in …

Perth kirk and its records: reformation

Protestant ideas came early to the burgh of Perth – understandably, given its important place in the trade networks of the North Sea. Perth’s mercantile community received new continental ideas right along …

Perth kirk and its records: burgh and people

Perth in the sixteenth century was a town of between five and six thousand people. Positioned at the highest point of the River Tay then navigable by seagoing vessels, its flourishing economy …

Perth kirk and its records: the manuscript

The story of the Scottish Reformation is one oft-told from the top, as the outcome of actions by monarchs and regents, bishops and preachers, parliament and the militant Lords of the …

Numbers

This course has introduced you to some of the problems faced by palaeographers when dealing with numbers. However, they may still present significant challenges. The links below provide optional further …

Letters and words

If you have completed all of the previous steps, you should now be familiar with the common traits of secretary hand. However, even after practise, the handwriting of early modern …

Discovering parishes and ministers

The Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae is a multi-volume book which chronicles the succession of ministers in Scotland since the Protestant Reformation of 1560. It is an incredibly useful point of entry …

Discerning place names

At times determining place names can be difficult. As the course has taught you, spelling was not uniform in the early modern period. In addition, place names can and do …

The Dictionary of the Scots Language

The Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL) is a vital resource for accessing the language of early modern Scots. As well as being an essential tool for those interested in …

The Scots language

Scots is a Germanic linguistic variant spoken in the lowlands of Scotland and parts of Ulster (the dialect known as ‘Ulster Scots’). The language is distinct from Scottish Gaelic, which …

Summary of week 2

It has been another busy week learning to read early modern documents! As such, it is worth pausing to reflect on what you have covered: You can now read early …