What Does It Say? Reading Handwritten Historical Documents

What Does It Say? How to Read Handwriting From the Late 18th Century to Early 20th Century.

Reading and interpreting handwritten archival documents such as wills, title deeds, personal diaries and letters can be challenging. Even annotations on the back of photographs and signatures on art works can be tricky for today’s researcher.

This is due to a number of reasons and not just bad handwriting. The writing styles and conventions used 100 years ago differ from those we use today impacting on our comprehension and interpretation of the handwritten word.

Gail Davis, Senior Archivist, Research and Publications, NSW State Archives will be presenting a session on how to decipher old handwriting. Commencing with an overview of writing techniques, Gail will share tips and hints to assist you to interpret those old hand written words. There will be a short and fun practical component to the session.

Free. Bookings essential.

Mosman Council Event Free Event


  • Wednesday 20 March 2019
  • 10.30am – 12.30pm


  • Barry O’Keefe Library (Mosman Library Service)
  • Library Walk, 605 Military Road, Mosman


More Info