The Newberry has recently announced that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded $526,000 for the creation of a set of online tools to allow users to teach themselves to read different early French handwritings from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. We’re very excited as this will be an invaluable tool for paleographers, scholars and perhaps a few genealogists as well.
Old styles of handwriting, whether in your native language or that of your ancestors, can present a number of problems. Here are some resources which you may find helpful:
- The Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies maintains a listing of online resources for those interested in Paleography.
- The U.K. National Archives offers an online tutorial: Palaeography - reading old handwriting 1500 - 1800.
- The Yale University Library Rare Book Team has compiled another helpful list: List of Paleographic Resources (MS Word)
- The Center for Family History and Genealogy at Brigham Young University provides tutorials for deciphering English, German, Duth, Italian, French, Portuguese and Spanish scripts.
If you’re still stumped, you may want to consider turning to a professional. Cyndi’s List has some resources for locating assistance.