Lunch and Learn: Teaching Undergraduates How to Read Handwriting in Archives (led by Dr. Heather Wolfe)

Eric Stoykovich Announcement
United States
Subject Fields
Digital Humanities, History Education, Humanities, Library and Information Science, Educational Technology

Please Join the Society of American Archivists Manuscripts Repositories Section for our Lunch and Learn series: 

Teaching Undergraduates How to Read Handwriting in Archives

Thursday May 25, 2023 - 12 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

 Zoom link - Passcode 933486 


At a time when undergraduates arrive at college without having experienced handwriting as a reader or writer, it is important to create a baseline of understanding before they consult untranscribed manuscript materials within an archives or special collections repository for class assignments or research projects. In this session we will discuss ways to introduce the reading of cursive handwriting (primarily in English) from across a range of historical eras to audiences within higher education settings, particularly undergraduate students and their faculty educators. What should faculty within academic departments and archivists know before students work with an archives or manuscript collection? How can assignments involving interactions with manuscripts be properly tailored to account for students' unfamiliarity with cursive in any hand or script?    


Heather Wolfe PhD, MLIS, is Curator of Manuscripts and Associate Librarian at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. Wolfe has taught paleography for the past twenty years, focusing on early modern English secretary hand.  Wolfe received the 2019 Archival History Article Award from the Society of American Archivists for the article co-written with Peter Stallybrass, "The Material Culture of Record-Keeping in Early Modern England." In the past five years, Wolfe has been introducing learners to cursive handwriting through gamification, storytelling, and collaborative transcription.

Hosted by Manuscript Repositories Section
Steering Committee (SAA)

Contact Information

Eric Stoykovich, PhD, MLS, CA

College Archivist and Manuscript Librarian

Watkinson Library and College Archives
Library and Information Technology Services, Trinity College
Hartford, CT 06106

Contact Email