Handwriting History collection:

Herman Melville wrote and revised the manuscript for Billy Budd from approximately 1884—1891. Melville had a wide range of handwriting styles, from carefully considered to hastily scribbled. His range of writing offers us a sterling opportunity to explore variations in personal handwriting styles and to test our abilities to read them.

The ink examples on the website are drawn from chapters 1—5; the pencil examples are from chapter 20.

The words and phrases have been checked for accuracy against the Melville Electronic Library edition.

Contact us for scholar or instructor access if you would like it.

Please send questions and requests for access to david@americanpaleography.org
David Kaminski