UNB Libraries is holding a two-part palaeography session on the Fredericton campus to teach techniques and strategies students can use to approach reading and analyzing manuscripts.

This is the first time that UNB Libraries will hold a workshop on palaeography, or the study of old handwritten documents. Library assistant Dr. Leah Grandy came up with the idea for the session after noticing increased difficulty among students working to transcribe New Brunswick county court records, an ongoing project in the Microforms Unit. Written in the 18th and 19th centuries, these documents can be difficult for the modern reader as students are not exposed to cursive writing the way they have been in the past.

“We hope that we can offer students a helping hand in accessing historical documents in their original format, particularly from our Library collections,” says Dr. Grandy.

The Harriet Irving Library on UNB’s Fredericton campus is a repository of Loyalist resources, which is unique in Canada. The Loyalist Collection contains microfilm of British, North American Colonial, and early Canadian primary sources from approximately 1740 – 1870, with the chief focus being the American Revolution, and the early years of Loyalist settlement in British North America.

Part One: Tuesday, Feb. 16 (2 – 2:50 p.m.), HIL Milham Room, UNB Fredericton. Topics include transcription, writing materials, and styles (hands).

Part Two: Tuesday, Feb. 23 (2 – 2:50 p.m.), HIL Learning Lab, UNB Fredericton. Hands-on practice using 18th-century and 19th-century sources from North America and Great Britain.

This free session is primarily intended for undergraduate and graduate students working with primary documents. No registration is required.

For more information, please contact Dr. Leah Grandy.

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