Are you interested in reading old Scottish documents? The Scottish Handwriting resource has a new home on the ScotlandsPeople website. 

This online resource offers free expert tuition on how to read early modern Scottish documents written in the period 1500 to 1750. It is an invaluable tool for those who are interested in accessing and interpreting Scottish historical records from the early modern period. 

Along with those who have a personal or professional interest in this historical period, the Scottish Handwriting resource will also be of interest to people who are beginning or returning to palaeography; the study of interpreting and transcribing handwritten manuscripts from earlier eras.

Whatever your level of palaeographical ability, our interactive tutorials and palaeography posers arranged by record type  (for example, wills and testaments) and date, will help you study the characteristics of Scottish handwriting and improve or maintain your reading speed. 

Testaments Tutorial Further Exercises extract from testament dative for Robert Duncan, 1784

Testaments Tutorial: Further exercises
Extract from testament dative for Robert Duncan, 1784

Crown copyright, National Records of Scotland, CC12/3/6, page 203

Interactive tutorials like these can help build your palaeography skills.

Regular use of our coaching manual should develop your technique and may help you overcome specific problems while reading a document. There are also links to other online palaeography websites, and in the bibliography, details of dictionaries, glossaries and other useful publications.

Interested? Why not try one of our palaeography posers or tutorials to help you get started? We hope you enjoy using the Scottish Handwriting resource and find it helpful for your research.