A large proportion of the collections described on the Archives Hub consists of manuscripts. We perhaps tend to think of a manuscript as something very old and valuable, but a manuscript is simply a handwritten document, and these can take many forms. Manuscripts may include letters and diaries. And most manuscripts just involve pen and paper. Manuscripts may be written in fine writing or calligraphy , and they may be written in other forms of handwriting and scripts, whether for other languages or for special purposes, such as mathematical or musical notation, and shorthand.
A Beginner's Guide to Calligraphy
BOOKTRYST: The Art of 18th Century Handwriting
The English round hand is a style of handwriting that developed in the 18th century, primarily in Great Britain. It grew out of earlier writing styles, especially the cursive styles of the late 17th century, which were written with pens that had a flexible nib rather than the flatly cut tip on the broad-edged pens in use in the Renaissance. It developed into several related writing styles in the 19th century, but it flourished during the Age of Enlightenment — and of commerce. The English round hand, a business hand with flourishes. Folio , detail. Image courtesy of the Letterform Archive , San Francisco. It was considered easy to read and, significantly for its widespread success, easy to teach.
The Cheek Family
Subscribe in a reader. When New York City's P. Stallone patrolled the aisles during penmanship classwork in we all sat in abject fear of the martinet with piercing eyes and tight, red hair bun. She was a stern mistress of cursive script and the scourge of poor hand-writers. Her mandate: to transition us from block-lettering to graceful flowing lines and turn illegible doodles into legible writing.
The scripts favoured by English scribes evolved and changed over time. At the beginning of the medieval period, scribes used 'set' scripts, which were very formal and tidy. Well-separated letters were their principal characteristic. However, the most significant development in script in the English Middle Ages was the evolution of cursive hands which made the process of writing quicker and more efficient.