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Welcome to our Old English Page


We have available three computer fonts useful for representing Old English, and also some original translations of Old English works. I created these fonts myself, and they are freely available for downloading and use by interested persons. All three are IBM-compatible TrueType fonts.

Click here to email Red about these fonts, or if you would like to receive them as e-mail attachments which you can easily save and add to your own computer's font list.

These are the fonts:

Old English Bookhand

Old English Bookhand is a recently-created computer typeface designed especially for the transcription of Old English. Modelled closely on an original English scribe's hand from the 11th century, OE Bookhand provides many old letters and other characters used in written English down to about the year 1200. The 14- to 16-point sizes are recommended for authenticity and readability. Here are some features of this computer font:

a. For the convenience of teachers and students, modern w, s, and r are provided in their usual places on the keyboard.

b. Thorn, eth, yogh, wyn, long s, long r, and other common OE letters and signs are provided on convenient keys.

c. Palatalized c and g, marked long vowels, and most modern punctuation marks are present for those wishing to provide easier readability for students. In addition, many specialized letters and abbreviations are provided for advanced transcriptions.

d. Modern comma and period are on the comma key. OE full stops are on the period key. Q is on the backslash key. V and J, not regularly used in text, are provided for numerals such as viij.

This typeface is available as an IBM-compatible True-Type font.

Click here to download a sample of Old English Bookhand.

We also recommend that you print out this page, with the keyboard chart below.

image of keyboard chart for typeface


We also offer the following other fonts, although it will be a while before we can post adequate descriptions and keyboard charts:


Old Blackletter

Old Blackletter is a typeface closely resembling one used in 16th-century English printing and in early editions of the King James Bible. I added many characters such as thorn, eth, ash, and wyn to this font, making it very useful for transcribing Middle English and Early Modern English texts.

Click here to download a sample of Old Blackletter.


Middle English Blackletter

Middle English Blackletter is a slightly lighter typeface and creates a different effect from Old Blackletter. It also contains many ancient letters and characters useful in representing early texts.

Click here to download a sample of Middle English Blackletter.


Wild West

Here's another font. I created WildWest in 1990 from Tuscan Egyptian, a wood-block font from the 1880s. WildWest is quite authentic and attractive, and is useful in creating period effects. There is another "WildWest" font in circulation, but this one is very different, and came first!

Click here to download a sample of WILDW3.TTF.

Old English Translations

We have several short translations from Old English works available, and are posting more of them regularly. Please check back with us to see when more translations are posted.

Old English, the form our language possessed before about 1100 a.d., was a reverent, expressive and powerful language. These passages are translated in an attempt to preserve some of the beautiful feeling of the original passages.

These are original translations by Red Henry, an impecunious antiquarian living in Winchester, Virginia. Just click on a line below to go straight to each translation:

Caedmon's Hymn

The Bookworm

From the Introduction to King Alfred's "Boethius"

A Passage from "Andreas"

A Passage from "The Ruin"

A Passage from "The Harrowing of Hell"



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