Is there one correct way to write the date? Does the month or the day come first? Or is it the year? When should a date be written in numbers and when should it be written out all in words? What about abbreviations? What kind of punctuation is needed? Are there rules and standards or is it all a matter of personal taste and convenience? The answers vary according to context; however, there is some agreement among the sources consulted.
Dating of Documents
Can an examination be conducted of a signature or handwriting from only a photocopy? Yes, but if it is possible to obtain the original it allows a more thorough examination of the document and the circumstances of its production. The possibility of a tracing of a machine copy transfer forgery cannot be ruled out. Is it possible to date pencil or typewritten documents? Yes, in some cases. Is it possible to determine when a questioned document was produced?
The chemical analysis of writing and printing inks, as well as paper, can be invaluable when trying to prove whether a document is fraudulent. Ink dating is a.
The scripts favoured by English scribes evolved and changed over time. At the beginning of the medieval period, scribes used ‘set’ scripts, which were very formal and tidy. Well-separated letters were their principal characteristic. However, the most significant development in script in the English Middle Ages was the evolution of cursive hands which made the process of writing quicker and more efficient. Cursive scripts contain letter forms made with as few strokes of the pen as possible.
They were first developed for the speedy copying of official documents or records, but gradually became used for copying other types of text. Many hands are made up of a mixture of characteristics from different styles. Sometimes called Gothic Book Hand or Black Letter, this was the most enduring script of the Middle Ages and was in use from the twelfth to the sixteenth century.
It is not a cursive hand, and is instead characterised by an upright appearance, and the use of separate strokes to form letters, which required the frequent raising or lifting of the nib from the writing surface. Letter forms are kept separate from one another, and when well spaced give an appearance of formality and neatness. There are various different forms of Textura, usually characterised by the way in which scribes formed the bottom of their letters. Quadrata is the ‘high-Gothic’ variety of Textura, which is characterised by the consistent use of diamond-shaped feet on ‘minim’ letters made up of vertical strokes such as i, m, n, u.
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Two main approaches can be used for determining the age of an ink: indirect dating and direct dating. Indirect dating is based on the chemical analysis of an ink followed by comparison with known samples in a reference collection. The collection should contain information about the inks including the market introduction dates. This approach may allow for an anachronism to be detected.
The second concept is based on measuring ink components that change with age. The analysis of solvents in ballpoint inks may be a useful parameter for determining the age of ink on paper.
The MPS benchmark data set for handwritten manuscript dating. This data set is collected for the Dutch NWO project: Medieval Paleographical.
Palaeography is the study of old handwriting. This web tutorial will help you learn to read the handwriting found in documents written in English between and At first glance, many documents written at this time look illegible to the modern reader. By reading the practical tips and working through the documents in the Tutorial in order of difficulty, you will find that it becomes much easier to read old handwriting. You can find more documents on which to practise your skills in the further practice section.
Ten documents of varying levels of difficulty, information about the documents and their historical backgrounds. You can also learn Latin with our online tutorial for beginners. All content is available under the Open Government Licence v3. Search the website Search the catalogue. Search the archives Search our website. Search our website Search our records.
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Paleography , also spelled palaeography , study of ancient and medieval handwriting. Precise boundaries for paleography are hard to define. For example, epigraphy , the study of inscriptions cut on immovable objects for permanent public inspection, is related to paleography. Casual graffiti , sale or election notices as found on the walls of Pompeii , and Christian inscriptions in the Roman catacombs are likewise part of paleographical knowledge.
In general, however, paleography embraces writing found principally on papyrus, parchment vellum , and paper.
The chemical analysis of writing and printing inks, as well as paper, can be invaluable when trying to prove whether a document is fraudulent. Ink dating is a highly specialized forensic examination and considered to be one of the most accurate and reliable methods to help determine the age of a document. An ink formulation can be identified to a specific manufacturer to ascertain the first date of commercial availability.
If an entry is dated in , but the ink was not available until then the document could not have been created in Inks contain chemical solvents that evaporate and generally go through a drying process that can last up to 2 years. Comparing Writing Inks.
MPS Data set with images of medieval charters for handwriting-style based dating of manuscripts
Home How to Write the Date in a Document. In formal writing , always write the date in full when it is part of a sentence. This usually involves giving the day of the month, the month, and the year:.
If you are writing your letter as an email, use block format, regardless of formality. Omit the sender’s address, date, and recipient’s address. Read more about.
Included in the discipline is the practice of deciphering, reading, and dating historical manuscripts,  and the cultural context of writing, including the methods with which writing and books were produced, and the history of scriptoria. The discipline is one of the auxiliary sciences of history. It is important for understanding, authenticating, and dating ancient texts. However, it generally cannot be used to pinpoint dates with high precision.
Palaeography can be an essential skill for historians and philologists , as it tackles two main difficulties. First, since the style of a single alphabet in each given language has evolved constantly, it is necessary to know how to decipher its individual characters as they existed in various eras. Second, scribes often used many abbreviations , usually so as to write more quickly and sometimes to save space, so the specialist-palaeographer must know how to interpret them.
Knowledge of individual letter-forms , ligatures , punctuation , and abbreviations enables the palaeographer to read and understand the text. The palaeographer must know, first, the language of the text that is, one must become expert in the relevant earlier forms of these languages ; and second, the historical usages of various styles of handwriting, common writing customs, and scribal or notarial abbreviations.
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Although there are no experts who have listed “Ink Dating” as their area of expertise from Saskatchewan , the below listed expert witnesses have indicated they are available to assist in your selected state. Featured Experts. Document examinations are provided in the following areas: handwriting, typewriter, photocopies, Global Forensic Services, LLC formerly Stewart Forensic Consultants, LLC is an independent laboratory and consulting firm providing investigation, forensic and litigation support to individuals, companies and firms.
Until now, document dating methods have been able to indicate whether the writing was relatively new (less than 90 days) or older (over two.
There are typically two different forensic methods for ink dating. With this method the forensic analysis determines the components in the ink, compares them against a library of standards and then allows an opinion regarding the first date that particular ink was manufactured commercially available. The dynamic approach is very useful in determining if a pen ink was placed on a document on its purported date, i.
There are only a handful of forensic scientists capable of performing these tests and laboratories equipped with the proper tools. The proposed tests are minimally invasive, the latter two involving the placement of pinhole perforations in the text, paper and signatures on the Original Document. The pinholes themselves are not typically easily visible unless the document is held up to light, and the testing has no negative effect on handwriting analysis.
All of the proposed testing follows Court approved testing methods, e. Under appropriate circumstances, the Court may order destructive testing of all or some portion of the physical item in question. Douglas E.