In the Scottish Palaeography and Diplomatic module we shall study the different styles of handwriting to be found in Scottish documents from the early 1500s up to the 18th century, and will also consider the form of many different classes of document. These will include those relating to conveyancing and the recording of title, inheritance and legal dispute. This module has a strongly practical emphasis and aims to ensure that you become confident in reading the different styles of handwriting which have been used in Scotland and that you feel equipped to try to read any document you might be faced with.

  • Becoming familiar with the handwriting used in Scotland between 1500 and 1800
  • Recognising particular letter forms and abbreviations common in handwritten Scots documents
  • Discovering the form of common types of documents used in Scotland to do with conveyancing, registration, wills and settlements and legal processes
  • Learning more about Scottish peculiarities in personal names, reckonings of time, numbers, coinage and weights and measures
  • Practising the reading and interpretation of real sources for local and family history with close help from a personal tutor

Module code


Number of credits

20 SCQF credits (10 ECTS credits) on Level 5, SHE M (SCQF 11)


Rachel Hart, Morag Fyfe-Lucas

When available?

January semseter