As noted by the authors (Stimson, Frederic Jesup Stimson and Harvey Cortlandt Voorhees) of the above-mentioned legal department, for “reasons of arbitrariness in the creation of abbreviations, no list can be described as complete. However, the following list will include virtually everyone who needs a reference. “We were very impressed with the speed with which the volunteers tackled the new Early Copyright Title page campaign. A big thank you to everyone who has already helped with the transcription and revision of these pages! These documents are an important and invaluable resource that documents American creativity in the 18th and 19th centuries. You`ve probably noticed that there are common symbols, abbreviations, and conventions in the print and handwritten text included in this campaign. We wanted to provide additional guidance on how to transcribe some of these elements. Reading old handwritten notes is further complicated by the use of multiple abbreviations. Due to the repeated use of the same words in records of the same type, most writers would speed up the registration process and save paper, ink, and time by abbreviating common nouns and other words with certain abbreviation conventions. The following word is an example of shortening by omitting different letters. The horizontal mark above the word is called a “tilde” and allows the reader to know how to fill in the gaps.
This abbreviation is often used in English and Latin documents. The three letters we can see are `s`, `t and i` = `sti`. The whole word together is “sancti.” Many common words have been abbreviated in this way. There are reference books that list common abbreviations, so you don`t have to guess each of them. Here are some of the most common medieval abbreviations. You must be able to speak Latin to understand the words and grammar in these examples, but versions of most abbreviations are also used in English documents. Q4: I see some common abbreviations on the pages. Can you explain what they are and how to transcribe them? A common misconception of archaic forms of English is the use of “ye” instead of “the”. However, in early manuscripts, the letter form of appearance Y is actually a combined letter called a “thorn”.
The original sign of the thorn was Þ and indicated “th”. When printing at the end of the 15th century. However, the writing came from the mainland where the letter was not used. Typographers used the letter y instead, as the loop of the thorn was often not connected by hand and resembled the y. When reading old documents, one of the first things you may notice is spelling inconsistencies. In early documents, words were written phonetically and could be written and abbreviated differently in the same document. Spelling was not standardized until the 19th century with the availability and distribution of dictionaries and the expansion of compulsory schooling. Thomas Jefferson`s famous quote, “You should never trust a man who has only one way to spell a word,” should be a good indication of what to expect when reading old documents.  “&c” or “+c” is short for the Latin phrase “et cetera”. From Latin, the term translates to “and the rest”, but is used in English to mean “other similar things” or “and so on”.
In the 21st century, we usually abbreviate this term to “etc.” You must transcribe it as it appears on the page, while retaining the short form. `s` and `f` can be very confusing if you`re not used to reading old scripts. The long “s” continued to be used in printing even in the nineteenth century, and many people mistakenly read it as “f” because they do not expect an “s” to be formed in this way. The following is a list of abbreviations from the book “A concise law dictionary of words, phrases, and maxims: with an explanatory list of abbreviations used in law books.” If you come across a new abbreviation, you may want to write it down for future reference. The main reference work for abbreviations is C.T. Martin, “The Record Interpreter” (reissued by Kohler and Coombes, 1976), which you should find in most reference libraries. English spelling was not standardized until the 18th century. Until then, words were often phonetically (as they sound) and written in local dialects. In particular, vowels can be written in different ways depending on how the author pronounced the word. An author would often spell the same word in different ways in a document.
Reading old manuscripts is a challenge for most people. However, as we have seen, medieval writings are usually written with an attentive and regular hand. This means that they are actually easier to deal with than a personal scribble from the nineteenth or twentieth century, if you`ve learned a few basic tips and tricks. On this page you will find many tips on unknown letters, surprisingly shaped letters and abbreviations. If you want to know more, you can check out more comprehensive paleography sites listed on the More Information page. A tilde on `-con` or `-ton` at the end of a word means that an `i` is missing in the endings `-cion` or `-tion`. This abbreviation was used in English and Latin. This example from the late 16th century. Century shows the words “A declaracion”: Below you will find different types of abbreviations that can be found in English documents: An abbreviation by contraction is formed by writing the first and last letter of the word and eliminating the middle letters. For example, the word “deceased” was often abbreviated to “deceased,” often with a tilden symbol or a straight line above the abbreviation. Below are some examples of these types of abbreviations taken from the recordings. Some of the common abbreviations you`ll see on the first few pages can be found below.
Transcribe them as you see them and keep the abbreviations. Clarke (Iowa) Clarke (Mich.) Clarke (N. Y.) Clayt. Clif. & R. Clif. & St. Cliff.
3D circuit. Report by the Irish law firm wallis. Wambaugh`s cases for analysis. Wambaugh`s cases on the agency. Wambaugh`s case study. Warden`s Ohio State reports. Warden & Smith`s Ohio State Reports, Band 3. Berichte von Ware, U.S. District Court, Maine. Washington State berichtet. Washingtons Virginia berichtet. Washingtons Berichte, U.S.
Circuit Court, 3d Marsh. A. K. A. K. Marshalls Kentucky-Berichte. Sumpf. Calc. Marshall`s Calcutta berichtet.
Bradl. (R. I.). – Bradleys Rhode Island berichtet. Bradw. Bradwells Illinois Appellate Court berichtet. Cases. Defendant. Delaware reports.