The Blog, Genealogy's Star, recently had a post dealing with the subject of old handwriting. As we go back in time for our research, we all run into handwritten documents that we have to wade through.
It can be an exhilerating experience when we figure things out, but that good feeling is usually accompanied by frustration as we deal with poor penmanship, different writing styles, and even multiple languages.
The Blog post gives some insights into dealing with those records as well as several handy links to sites that will help with understanding different writing styles and even help with translation.
Check it out at http://genealogysstar.blogspot.com/2011/05/going-back-in-time-handwritten-records.html