Palaeography, the study of the various types of old scripts and their development geographically and over time, is a vast field. The collection of over 2000 examples is large to cover the Western scripts, comprising Europe, Near East and the Americas. The rest of the world has not been collected with palaeography specifically in mind, but will to some extent be covered through examples elsewhere in the special collections. The first section 4.1. The beginning of writing and the first alphabets, is, nevertheless, aimed at being a fairly coherent presentation world-wide.
The following extensive presentation, with 165 examples, is supplemented by the 33 examples in collection 7 Music.