Students, genealogists, architects, book lovers, historians, geographers and keen researchers...
Palaeography is a study drawing on both science and art, stemming from the difficulty of reading ancient writing systems. This term is derived from the Greek words παλαιός — meaning "old" — and γρα'φειν — "to write" — and refers to the historic study of the hand-written alphabet and how the shape of its letters evolved, as well as to the act of deciphering old manuscripts.
But it is not always the oldest documents that are the most difficult to read. Our contemporary hand-writings in all their variety will seem bewildering in the eyes of our descendants. The Germanic alphabet from the more recent past, whether it be printed or, especially, hand-written, requires a certain amount of familiarity before it can be fully understood. As to the drafts and letters which have endured since the end of the French Ancient Regime, they represent a personal testimony to the hand-writing of an individual - another challenge for the decipherer!