May 24, 2017 11:24 am Last modified: 8:34 am

DPNR to Host Five-Day Gothic Handwriting Workshops

Territorial Archives will host its second Joint Centennial Project with the Danish National Archives (Rigsarkivet). Like the first project carried out earlier this year, this will provide training to researchers, historians, students, scholars and genealogists on deciphering and understanding Danish Gothic handwriting and historical records created during the Danish West Indian era (1671-1917), according to a press release issued Wednesday by the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.

On March 1, the Danish National Archives officially released for free online access over 5,000,000 images of digitized historical records (over 8.5 million documents) of the Danish West Indies.  Many of these documents are written in 19th century Danish Gothic handwriting that is difficult to transcribe.

Virgin Islanders will be provided tools and strategies for meaningful research and interpretation. A team of qualified researchers will be trained in each district in order that others might be locally trained and guided in these skills through a five-session course on:

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    Basic techniques to decipher and transcribe Danish Gothic handwriting;

    Basic Danish language instruction with an emphasis on terminology used in Danish West Indian era documents; and

    An introduction to Danish National Archives online and other finding aids, Web sites and search techniques for Danish West Indian research.

    Archivist Niklas Thode Jensen Ph.D. of the Danish National Archives will conduct the five-day workshops. Funding and workshop locations are entirely underwritten by the Danish National Archives, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources and Virgin Islands Next Generation Network (viNGN).  There is no cost to participants.

    The workshop for St. Croix will be held from 6-9 p.m., Monday, May 1 through Friday, May 5, at the viNGN Public Computing Center located at the Florence A. Williams Public Library in Christiansted.

    The workshop for St. Thomas-St. John will be held from 6-9 p.m., Monday, May 8 through Friday, May 12, at the viNGN Public Computing Center located at the Charles Wesley Turnbull Regional Public Library in Tutu Park Mall.

    Seating is limited and the deadline for registration is April 7.  To register, contact Territorial Archivist Susan Lugo at susan.lugo@dpnr.vi.gov or 774-0630.

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