[ Reference number: MS 3061/1/214. Finding number: [DV 21]167614]
Palaeography, the study and reading of old handwriting, is a much-loved skill amongst those of us who work with archives and we enjoy every chance we get to have a go at it. It’s rather like a word puzzle – some of the letters are easy to read and some are not – take this spelling of Shipston on Stour in Warwickshire:
Schepyston Apon Stowre
Like most skills it requires practice and sometimes we get called upon to help our users with reading particularly difficult words or phrases in old documents. Today I helped a researcher decipher a 15th century manuscript which described the inclosure of land around Shipston on Stour (Schepyston Apon Stowr in this document). This probably only happens once in a while so to keep our hand in we meet for a regular palaeography class which is very informal but lots of fun. Keep up with our regular class via An Old Hand’s blog and twitter feed @An_Old_Hand. And if you really fancy getting to grips with it why not try our the National Archives’ online tutorial.