17th and 18th Century Paleography
Paleography: reading old handwriting 1500-1800. A practical online tutorial.
Tutorial by the National Archives of Great Britain. Good examples and a handy “Quick reference guide” to such matters as calendars and money.
English Handwriting 1500-1700: an online course
An outstanding site, particularly strong in examples with accompanying transcriptions and notes.
Online Tuition in the Paleography of Scottish Documents, 1500-1750
Note that this site covers down to 1750.
Introduction to English Paleography
Created by Dave Postles of the West Sussex Record Council.
French paleography to 1789:
Archive of an extensive course in French Early Modern handwriting. In French. Excellent examples and accompanying transcriptions.
Read Suetterlin/read blackletter http://www.suetterlinschrift.de/Englisch/Sutterlin.htm
Wonderful site for Suetterlin and earlier German scripts generally.
Alphabetisierung und Schriftkultur in die Frühen Neuzeit
Not really a paleography website, but contains scores of examples of German signatures ca. 1800 accompanied by transcription. Great practice.
Exercises in Latin Paleography:
(mostly earlier Latin hands but a few examples of later documents)
Spanish and Latin American:
Curso de paleografía latino-hispano-americana
Much of this is medieval, but try the examples in the “Neografia” section.
The English Calendar
Does ecclesiastical calendar, regnal years in England; also converts Old Style to New Style and does days of the week. Particularly useful for those “Tuesday, February 10” dates on familiar letters.
The Perpetual Calendar: A Helpful Tool for Postal Historians
Toke Norby’s site. Not just for postal historians—also good for the French Republican calendar. If you ever have to decode “19 Frimaire, an.8” you will be grateful to him.
Early Modern Resources
Maintained by Sharon Howard; fairly recent site, covers “roughly 1500-1800.” Good links to eprint articles, online resources, etc.
Jack Lynch’s Eighteenth-Century Chronology
The long eighteenth, year by year. Useful, but tends to be fuller for post1750.
an be searched by year or topic. Has an expansive enough view of “Romantic” to be quite useful for the eighteenth century as well.
The Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540-1835
In progress. Can be amazingly useful.
La Crosse Public Library History (Chronology) resources:
A list of timelines on the Web. Very good selection
A Few Resources on American Handwriting:
There are a multitude of sites devoted to American handwriting, but relatively few good ones.
How to Read 18th Century British-American Handwriting
This is the handwriting “tips” portion of a much larger site devoted to the diary of Martha Ballard, created by the Film Study Center, Harvard. Do explore; there are digital images and transcriptions, as well as other information.
Indian Converts Collection Study Guide to Colonial American Handwriting
A good basic site for 17th and 18th century hands. Be sure to try the Handwriting Game.
The “Rare Books” section of the IAMPETH website:
A trove of information on 19th and early 20th century American hands. IAMPETH is the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting, and the whole site is well worth exploring.
A very basic site for American genealogists, but has links to some useful handlists of name abbreviations and the like.