Paleography (or palaeography) is an odd word isn’t it? I mean, we all know what paleontology is (well, if you have kids you do since dinosaurs are awesome) and some of you may know a few other disciplines that begin with pale. But what exactly is paleography?
According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary it is:
1 the study of ancient writings and inscriptions
2 a : an ancient manner of writing b : ancient writings
So, for genealogists having a firm grasp in this discipline sounds like a must. Do you agree? Thankfully, The National Institute offers such a course and I am diving into it full steam ahead.
However, and many of you may be figuring this out about me, I have had exposure to paleography in the past. In fact, I have studied various forms of medieval calligraphy for the past decade. I simply love old handwriting and calligraphy. Some of it is amazingly beautiful. Some of it, well, is amazingly undecipherable! I bet you have seen some words, symbols, shorthand or other things that made you want to scream!
Which is why I was excited to see that Palaeography: Reading & Understanding Historical Documents covers more than just how things were written. I am particularly interested to learn more about weights and measurements plus Latin terminology. In school I took German, not Latin, and even though I am slowly picking up some words as I read old manuscripts, knowing more Latin would be helpful.
I was intrigued to see that there is a workbook included with this course. There are exercises (hey, you get a dip pen too!) for each module that appear to put you through your paces. I love a good practical application, so I think this will be fun. Plus, it is unique as it is the first course I have taken with a workbook included. It is making me a little excited to see what is in store!
So, I hope you enjoy reading the blog the next few weeks. I am sure that you will stay entertained as I slog my way through Palaeography: Reading & Understanding Historical Documents.
See you online!