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Latin Palaeography

Making transcriptions

To make a transcription, you need to write down each word exactly as it appears in the original document. 


Don’t make changes to reflect modern spelling or to correct errors made by the scribe.


Fill in the letters omitted in an abbreviation by using square brackets.  If you are not sure what a letter is, use square brackets with a question mark to note the place. That way you can easily go back and fill in letters when the hand starts to become clearer.


For example:




The only exceptions to this are:


The ampersand sign - this is transcribed as the full word ‘et’ with no square brackets.



and ligatures - these are transcribed as two separate letters.

ligature example



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