how to read old documents

How to Read Old Documents

The Course

This workshop helps family and local historians including beginners and those with a small amount of experience to read 16th and 17th century handwriting, and will be helpful for deciphering texts from later periods too. During the course we will explore wills, inventories, registers, deeds and even the mystery of the suet pudding in a Quarter Sessions case. We’ll focus on the letter forms that the clerks made, and once you’ve got them, it’ll be like solving an enjoyable puzzle.

The Tutor

Dr Caroline Adams has a BA (Hons) in history from the University of York, an MA in landscape and regional history from the University of Leeds and a PhD from the University of Chichester. She is a fully qualified archivist and a member of the Archives and Records Association.  Until July 2014 she was Senior Archivist at West Sussex Record Office and is now a freelance archivist and historian. She has written and lectured widely on local and family history and has co-authored and edited a number of publications. Currently she is researching 16th and 17th century gentry in Sussex.

Participant Information

All equipment will be provided, you may wish to bring a pen and paper.

Fee & Refreshments

£65 per person, to include tuition, teas and coffees. If you have any dietary requirements please let us know in advance. The Museum cafe will be open or you may wish to bring a packed lunch.

Book course



Mon 8 July 2024






Research & Buildings