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For the beginner a good overview is Raymond Clemens and Timothy Graham’s Introduction to Manuscript Studies. It includes an introduction to palaeography and scripts.
Michelle Brown's books about paleography are informative and accessible:
Christopher de Hamel's works on illuminated manuscripts are standard texts:
The standard work is still Bernhard Bischoff’s Latin Palaeography: Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
An excellent follow-up is Albert Derolez’s The Palaeography of Gothic Manuscript Books: From the Twelfth to the Early Sixteenth Century.
A very readable and clear introduction especially for the novice is Michelle P. Brown’s A Guide to Western Historical Scripts: From Antiquity to 1600 which also includes numerous images, as well as transcription conventions and exercises.
Introductions to Irish script:
For abbreviations used in medieval writing, consult Adriano Cappelli’s comprehensive Lexicon abbreviaturarum : Dizionario di abbreviature latine ed italiane usate nelle carte e codici specialmente del Medio-Evo. An online version of the German translation is available. You won’t need to be able to read German to profit from the abbreviations demystified here!
A list of works about Palaeography available in Special Collections and UCC Library can be found here.
A good example of Latin decrees can be found in The Wyse Collection (1386-1471).
Handwriting from 500 centuries depicting age, health, status, and styles can be found in most of the collections in UCC Library's Archives Service.
View a range of online resources on the Medieval Studies guide: