The National Archives | Palaeography tutorial (how to read old handwriting)
It focuses on studying letter forms and conventions used, such as abbreviations. In addition, palaeography also involves dating manuscripts and identifying the. Paleography: Paleography, study of ancient and medieval handwriting. Abbreviations in texts likewise help in dating and localization. is the ability to recognize the numerous styles of handwriting prevalent in different ages and places. Quantitative methods and the use of technology in paleography and book history are by Most work, to date, has focused on a few “major” writing systems. . Places change as well: the London of today is in some respects an entirely different.
He is also viewed as the originator of modern archaeology. As time passed, other scholars would make their contributions, as well.
Tischendorf would comb Europe and its libraries, cataloging and discovering manuscripts along the way. During several trips to the Middle East, he had the opportunity to investigate several hundred other manuscripts.
What Do Paleographers Do? | The Getty Iris
The 20th century saw an explosion of tools that have served as helps to paleographers. All of these are found on the internet, giving access to anyone who owns a computer. How do Paleographers Date Manuscripts? Imagine that we are paleographers rummaging through the library of an old monastery, one that dates back to the third century C. As we move books aside, we discover that there are other loose pages within the book itself.
As we pull out the pages, we have discovered what looks to be an ancient uncial Greek document.
As we continue to work our way through the books, looking for more pages, we are wondering about the age of this document. To our delight, the last page provides a clue that would establish the date within 50 years. It was not the same manuscript, but it was the same hand, the same style, the same handwriting, the same punctuation, as well as other features that would establish this as the same person who made the other Biblical manuscript.
However, this manuscript has a date on it. Sadly, it was not a practice of scribes to place dates in their manuscripts after they had completed them. Thus, the textual scholar must compare other documents that have dates, both Biblical and non-Biblical documentary texts, to make a determination from an investigation of the handwriting, punctuation, abbreviations, and the like.
What we may have at times is a literary text on one side of the page, and a documentary text on the other side, making it easier to establish the date of the literary text.
Palaeography - Wikipedia
If we were to pull any book from our bookshelf and turn a few pages in it, we would normally find the date of publication on the copyright page. If we bought a used book that was missing the copyright page, we would have no idea of when it had been published.
It is only because of modern technology that we could date the book. Beyond Paleography As already noted, some of the earliest uses of computers for manuscript studies was in the field of codicology, and work in that area has continued ever since. However, the focus of the last 10 years seems to have been paleographical.
Similarly, the study of printed books has also benefited significantly from digital approaches through OCR, layout analysis, and others. Nevertheless, there seem to be some clear omissions. How can we fully integrate the text with a model of the construction of the book that it is preserved in, incorporating not only the page layout but also the binding structure, pages that are or were physically part of the same sheet of paper or parchment, and so on? Books and sometimes documents are not static objects but often change in content, binding, and even structure, so how can this be captured and represented?
To what extent can or should study of books and documents in digital form engage with theories of new media and remediation, for instance, those of Bolter and Grusin ? What about more three-dimensional forms of written communication, which are not readily amenable to photography, such as inscriptions, clay tablets, or cylinder seals? What can we learn by bringing librarians, archivists, conservationists, even publishers, and others into discussion with paleographers, codicologists, diplomatists, and book historians?
A big and perhaps unanswerable question is if we can find the limits of automation, now and in the foreseeable future. In contrast to this is writer verification, where the methods might be the same but the underlying question is importantly different: These two samples are somehow similar, which is straightforward enough to determine given metrics for similarity.
However, it is not at all clear how to verify that the similarity identified by the computer necessarily means production by the same writer, particularly for cases in which we have no substantial ground truth against which to test our methods.
- Login using
- What Do Paleographers Do?
Assuming that we do not have a perfectly reliable algorithm, any result will be provided in the form of a likelihood, and it will then be incumbent on the human expert to make the final decision. However, if the experts were able to verify this themselves then they would not have needed the computer. On what basis can this decision be made?
This discussion leads into questions about evidence and communication. How do we present computational results in ways that the audience can understand and use them? Strikingly relevant here is the question that Derolez raised more than 10 years ago: These questions in turn suggest the importance of visualization and interface design, areas that seem to have received relatively little attention when applied to books and manuscripts.
Paleographers must master several foreign languages, historic and modern, to do their work. In addition to being written in what amounts to a foreign language, medieval texts are encoded in a system of writing that is strange to the modern eye.
Even when a language retains the same alphabet, letter shapes evolve. Twelfth-century handwriting does not look the same as 16th-century handwriting, and both would certainly be very different from what a 21st-century writer would pen down.
Complicating this picture further, the medieval period made use of complex systems of abbreviations and ligatures letters joined together that varied, even within a given time period and place, from genre to genre.
For instance, legal practice had its own specialised language. Legal language was as obtuse then as it is now to the untrained reader! Paul Getty Museum, Ms.To Tell the Truth - World's Fair singer; Paleographer; Expert on comic strips (Jun 1, 1964)
Ludwig XV 5, fol. Helping Illuminate Language Change.