The writing was born with the need to transmit to other people relevant information about a topic that had widespread importance. We must emphasize that the writing made a leap to the form of communication, since despite the existence of oral communication, it was not enough to preserve information that because of its complexity could not be remembered exactly.

At that historical moment, the exchange of goods was enlarged so much that, in order to be able to control them, the invention of a symbol system was necessary to help them remember what they had exchanged, even what product they kept in their sack or box and the amount deposited there; It is not enough to remember that it was thanks to this historical fact that one of the most important offices for humanity was born: the scribes. The notaries were people who knew all kinds of phonemes and symbols, who were essentially responsible for capturing on clay tablets (because there was no pencil or paper) the exchange of products between merchants. On the other hand, thanks to the symbols found in caves, clay tablets, mud, even rocks; We can know a little more about our history and our evolution. Derived from this, the writing was not always “ perfect ” even, centuries had to pass to form a true writing system that fulfilled its main purpose that is communication, that is why there are also different letters and pictograms, even Hieroglyphs that help us communicate in a more assertive way.

Today, writing, as a habit, is being abandoned by teenagers and young adults, this, due to the influence of social networks, the little or a lot of attention that parents or teachers put in encouraging their children to do so, or for the time it is used for other types of activities that are more “ fruitful ” according to many models implemented by the media. We must be aware that writing does not occur on its own, there is always a motivator (internal or external) that encourages us to start something, in this case start writing, even a determining factor to write so is a good habit Reading. Statistical figures show that Mexico occupies the last places in the world in the number of books read per year, but I maintain my hypothesis that it is due to lack of habits, which start from home. We cannot omit the programs at the Federal District level, now Mexico City, that have been implemented in basic education, specifically primary and secondary education, in which children and young people are in charge of writing a short story to compile with students. books written by their classmates from other schools, this based on the “Reading Promotion Law and the Federal District Book”.

We know that writing is not easy, we have to visualize at least one goal. The choice of subject is not everything; because a subject can have many edges or sub-themes which can divert us from our main objective, therefore focusing our subject is one of the most important parts to start writing. On the other hand, the automatic choice of words can become a problem when writing because most of the times we try to write, in the same way we speak, completely forgetting that it is not the automatic transcription of ideas, because at the time of writing we must make logical precisions taking special care with the spelling and sound [1]; for that we use the punctuation marks and the use of appropriate words to convey to our reader the idea of ​​our writing.

This brings us to the topic of synonyms, we well know that there are verbs that, specifically, in Spanish, are widely used, such as ‘’ have ’,’ ’have”, “do”; which are used in writing and oral expression without the latent need to change them for some less used, with a similarly significant burden. Why does this happen? Because by using them automatically in our everyday language, we are left with the inertia to use them when we write. The importance of the use of synonyms lies in the point of non-repetition, when the author becomes systematic, insistent or bland in the use of words and connection of ideas, the reader decides to stop reading. It seems to me that it has all happened to us on occasion that reading becomes uninteresting for us, even boring and tedious. It is easy to understand this result, nobody would like to read something with so many repeated ideas, equal words or poor fluency

The tool is based on documents from La Española colony (the current Dominican Republic). Because the same main writing styles were used at the time throughout the Hispanic world, exercising in reading these basic styles with old Dominican manuscript documents can help users become familiar with the writing forms of any of the countries Spanish language of the same era.

In essence, users will be guided in this learning by observing or contemplating digital images of manuscript archival documents accompanied by typed transcripts of the words contained in those manuscripts. Through an active visual comparison of the handwritten word and the typed word, users can gradually learn to identify and decipher each letter and word of the handwritten text. By practicing enough, they will be able to develop their ability to visually recognize the spellings of the writing style and a familiarity with it that will enable them to understand, in general, all the words contained in a page or folio of a given manuscript.

Learning to read early-modern forms of writing is similar to learning to decipher any calligraphy or contemporary writing style of a particular person by repeated analysis of the writing in question and identifying the particular way in which each letter is written or plotted, until it is possible to identify all the letters and the writing as such is intelligible in its entirety. In the case of manuscripts in Spanish from the early Modern Age, four styles of writing are generally distinguished by different people and for different issues at the time, each with a way of tracing the letters of the Spanish alphabet slightly differently. They are called courtly writing, procedural writing, chained writing and humanistic writing.

Currently, there are many projects of digitalization of primary sources in all the great archives and libraries of the world as a method of preventive conservation. In this context, the E-Codices project is inserted in Switzerland, which has received financial support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Stravros Niarchos Foundation; Digital Scriptorim in the United States, Hispanic in Spain, Gallica in France and many others. But basically, the only thing that these large projects provide is a digital reproduction with which researchers can work comfortably. However, the great inconvenience that sources have regardless of their support is readability. Something as elementary as reading can be really problematic as can be seen in the following image.

Therefore, today, many international projects on paleography inserted within the Digital Humanities stream coexist. Some of them are:

DigiPal, directed by the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London, analyzes medieval English writing between the years 1000 and 1100.
ETANA is an interdisciplinary digital project on cuneiform, Sumerian and Acadia writing between the University of Birmingham and the British Museum.
CENDARI is what is called the project of transcription of manuscripts and medieval archival materials, designed to assist users in reading primary sources
EMMO is a multidisciplinary project of the Institute of Museums and Libraries of the United States (Washington) that seeks to encourage general public access to manuscripts in English of the 16th and 17th centuries through the transcription and creation of databases.
ViGOTHIC is a Spanish project that evaluates whether software such as the one developed by DigiPal for the digital paleographic analysis of sources is useful for contextualizing time and space of manuscripts in Visigothic writing. Through a case study, Blessed of Silos, the project focuses on applying this software, comparing it with traditional manual analysis, and seeing what advantages and disadvantages it has or may have.

HandsandBible is the frequent denomination adopted by the Dutch project “The hands that wrote the Bible: Digital paleography and written culture of the Dead Sea scrolls”
Spanish Paleography Digital Teaching and Learning Tool is the palaeographic project developed by the University of New York for the reading of manuscripts in Spanish from the colony of Hispaniola (now the Dominican Republic) between the 15th and 18th centuries.
All of them try to facilitate the office of historian although in a limited way to certain periods, countries or writing cycles and even favor the scientific dissemination of certain books or documents. Specifically in Mexico, a paleographic digitalization and transcription project on the Mendoza Codex has been developed.

However, despite all the technological advances, the job of paleographer and palaeographic discipline is difficult to disappear given the diversity of ductus existing within each writing cycle in each country and it is that basically there are as many fonts as people inhabit the world with the ability to write since no one writes exactly like another person, not even expert counterfeiters are able to reproduce 100% a type of handwriting. Therefore, until technology progresses in this direction, paleographic knowledge will be essential for any researcher who manages primary sources and in all likelihood numerous paleographic transcription projects will continue to be developed.

The term paleography comes from paleos (ancient) and spelling (writing). The first to use the term paleography was the Benedictine, Bernard de Montfaucon in his Paleographia graeca (1708).

A traditional definition of Paleography describes it as the treaty of ancient writings drawn on soft material supports (paper, papyrus, parchment) as opposed to the epigraphy that studies the writings drawn on hard writing materials (marble, bronze, etc.).

Paleography is currently understood in a broader sense as (Sánchez Prieto, 2010) «the historiographical science whose purpose is to study writing in general, and especially the evolution over time of graphic forms and their mode of execution, as well as all those factors of any kind (technological, economic, social, cultural, political, aesthetic, etc.) that condition them ».

The palaeographer is the person who is dedicated to paleography or who has a special command of the language of texts, styles, abbreviations, anagrams, ligograms, etc., all of them, knowledge necessary to decipher the old text, date it and assign a place of origin.

The manual begins with an introduction to the subject: concept of Paleography, object, limits and division of the Spanish diplomatic Paleography.

The author then reviews the historical evolution of writing in Spain during the twelfth to seventeenth centuries and conducts an analytical study of Spanish writing during that period: the different kinds of writing used in each era, alphabets, abbreviations systems, Signs and spelling.

Finally, it includes a collection of document facsimiles from the 12th to the 17th centuries, to practice the theoretical concepts learned.

The proposed paleographic reading exercises first present the current writing version of the documents that are subsequently reproduced in facsimile. The method proposes not to alter the order of the exercises so that at the same time that the necessary practice for reading is acquired, the transformations that successively the writing was experiencing are observed.

Editor’s Note: This edition is a reproduction of the original book published before 1923.

There are tools, programs and applications that facilitate the study of online paleography. For example, this interesting selection of courses to learn elementary paleography on the Internet prepared by Leonor Zozaya and which you can see in this article “Online paleography courses: Inheritance, limitations, achievements and proposal”. If you are interested in Paleography this is an excellent resource.