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Scottish Handwriting 1: 1500-1700

Course Times & Enrolment

Tuesdays from 26th September 2017 (Code HS231-103) Tuesdays from
26th September 2017 5:30pm - 7:00pm • (10 classes)
National Records Scotland • Tutor: Garth Stewart MA, BA , Jessica Evershed BA (Hons) PG Dip
Please call us to enrol on this course

Course Summary

This course aims to enhance your research skills by intruducing you to the transcription of documents from the period of 1500-1700. The course will focus on how to read old handwriting of the period and develop archival research methods. No previous experience required but some preparation for each class will be necessary. An additional £5 fee is to be paid to the NRS for the use of facilities.

This course is held at the National Records of Scotland, General Register House, Princes Street. Please report to the side door, located to the west side of the building. Please bring identification.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No previous experience required.

Content of Course

Each class will include the following:

  • A brief contextual lecture on the types of record studied
  • Practical transcription skills are developed in small groups with discussion and readings
  • Secretary hand alphabet and early modern writing conventions are explored and explained

Types of records covered in class include:

  • Kirk session minutes
  • Wills and testaments
  • Legal documents such as sasines and trial papers
  • Private letters and accounts

Teaching method(s)

Brief contextual lectures introduce the documents to be studied closely in class. Small groups are guided through the process of transcribing and reading documents.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • handle and transcribe original Scottish documents;
  • describe and analyse different handwriting styles from 1500-1700;
  • show familiarity with the NRS catalogues and other materials.

Transferable skills:

  • Oral communication.
  • Analysis of sources.
  • Research skills.

Sources

Core Readings

Gouldesborough, P., 1985. Formulary of Old Scots Legal Documents. Edinburgh: Stair Society.
Robinson, Mairi, 1985. The Concise Scots Dictionary. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press.
Rosie, Alison, 1994. Scottish Handwriting 1500 - 1700: A self-help pack. Edinburgh: Scottish Records Association.
Simpson, G., 1998. Scottish Handwriting 1150 – 1650. Edinburgh: Tuckwell Press.

Web Sources

http://www.scottishhandwriting.com
Scottish handwriting website, complete with weekly posers and more extensive tutorials. Also includes a letter finder and useful hints and tips to help readers become familiar with peculiar letterforms.

http://www.dsl.ac.uk/dsl/
The Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL) comprises electronic editions of the two major historical dictionaries of the Scots language: the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) and the Scottish National Dictionary (SND).

Class Handouts

Alphabet, dates, numbers and abbreviation guides are provided at the beginning of each session. Colour copies of each document are provided at each lesson along with a glossary of unusual words and information on the background of the document. Transcriptions of each document are provided once we have finished transcribing the text in class

Student support

If you feel you have specific requirements to enable you to study with us, please contact our Student Support Team by email StudentSupport.COL@ed.ac.uk or by phone 0131 650 4400 to arrange a confidential discussion. Giving us this information will enable us to make arrangements to meet your requirements for studying in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010.