A new web site offers online tutorials in paleography (the study of old handwriting) for historians, genealogists, and other researchers who have problems reading records written in Scotland in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. ScottishHandwriting.com provides online interactive tutorials and weekly posers to help you study the characteristics of Scottish handwriting. The emphasis of the web site is on practical help to improve the paleographic skills, rather than on the academic study of Scottish handwriting.
The online tutorials are well thought out. The information is presented in small lessons, followed by images of typical Scottish handwriting. Below each image there is a test in the form of a "fill in the blanks" quiz. At the end of each "quiz," you can click on a link to see the correct answers and thereby grade yourself.
The site also has numerous hints about spelling in past years and commonly-used words that may now be rare. For instance, you might find the word "cephering," which today would be spelled as "ciphering." It refers to bookkeeping and arithmetic using Arabic numerals in place of the earlier Roman numerals.
Best of all, ScottishHandwriting.com is available free of charge. You can start learning right now at http://ScottishHandwriting.com.