Public Record Office Victoria’s Jack Martin is pretty good at reading copperplate. Looking at the elaborate hand in which Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly’s prison record is written, the need for such a skill becomes obvious.
“If you look at a page from a record, particularly 19th Century, reading can be slow,” says Jack Martin. Although he’s probably looked at Ned Kelly’s record thousands of times, Jack is still excited by the detail, pointing out where someone has done a scrawled long subtraction in order to work out how old Kelly was when he died.
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