Selected background resources on 17th and 18th century American handwriting
- DoHistory. How to Read 18th Century British-American Writing.
- Includes links to excerpts from The Instructor, or American Young Man's Best Companion Containing Spelling, Reading, Writing, and Arithmetick by George Fisher, published in 1786, with instructions on how to make a pen and recipes for ink. Note: Houghton Library holds nine editions of this work. Many editions are available on line via HOLLIS.
- Folger Shakespeare Library. List of online resources for early modern English paleography. Includes a list of paleography tutorials.
- Department of History and the Center for Family History & Genealogy, Brigham Young University. Script Tutorial: making sense of old handwriting.
- State Archives of North Carolina. Deciphering 18th-century handwriting. Contains links to series of blog posts.
- Reed College and Laura Arnold Leibman. Indian Converts Website and Archive, Study Guide, Colonial American Handwriting. Includes games.
Books, articles, and an archival collection (some available online)
- Church, Rachel. Writing Equipment and Women in Europe 1500–1900. Women's Writing, 2014 Aug, Vol.21(3), pp.385-404. http://dx.doi.org.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/10.1080/09699082.2014.925036
- Marshall, Hilary. Palaeography for family and local historians. Chichester, West Sussex : Phillimore, 2004. http://id.lib.harvard.edu/aleph/009602430/catalog
- Monaghan, Jennifer E. Learning to Read and Write in Colonial America: Literacy Instruction and Acquisition in a Cultural Context. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2005. http://muse.jhu.edu.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/book/4364
- Nash, Ray. 1952, "American Writing Masters and Copybooks", Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, vol. 42, pp. 343. http://id.lib.harvard.edu/aleph/000659851/catalog
- Nash, Ray. “Abiah Holbrook and His 'Writing Master's Amusement’”, Harvard Library Bulletin. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Library. Volume VII, Number 1 (Winter 1953), pp. 88-104. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL:417638?n=98
- Sloboda, Stacey. Between the Mind and the Hand: Gender, Art and Skill in Eighteenth-Century Copybooks. Women's Writing, 03 July 2014, Vol.21(3), p.337-356. http://dx.doi.org.ezp-prod1.hul.harvard.edu/10.1080/09699082.2014.922298
- Sperry, Kip. Reading early American handwriting. Baltimore, Md. : Genealogical Pub. Co., c1998. http://id.lib.harvard.edu/aleph/007788214/catalog
- Thornton, Tamara Plakins. Handwriting in America: a cultural history. New Haven, CT : Yale University Press, c1996. http://id.lib.harvard.edu/aleph/006954118/catalog
- Yeandle, Laetitia. “The Evolution of Handwriting in the English-Speaking Colonies of America.” The American Archivist, vol. 43, no. 3, 1980, pp. 294–311. www.jstor.org/stable/40292315
- Miscellaneous specimens of American penmanship, 1773-1865. Archival collection. Includes specimens of handwriting, some by professional writing masters including John Fenno, but mostly copybooks of school pupils in New England. Finding aid: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL.Hough:hou01858