Last night I attended the archive's informal palaeography (palaeo - old, graphy - writing.)group. We are learning secretary hand letters, Old Scots and legal terms so that we can eventually read manuscripts like the one above.
Did anyone else own the excellent book 'Loads of Codes and Secret Ciphers' by Paul B. Janeczko as a child? (RAIE'V RV RHRIIRAEV? IA VECA VEE!) If you too were a junior secret agent, then palaeography is the ideal adult hobby.
Incidentally, the aforementioned book is available to loan from the Orkney Library.