This article, which serves as the editorial to the special T&T issue Spelling in ontwikkeling, consists of four parts. The first part is a brief introduction to spelling as a linguistic field. The second part provides a status quaestionis of this field within Dutch linguistics, especially from a diachronous point of view. The third part is an overview of the research articles in previous T&T issues which, to some extent, deal with spelling. Although the current issue is the first one in which historical spelling research is prominently exhibited, I thought it useful to provide an overview of research articles in the history of T&T that address the topic of spelling, as their titles do not always give this away. The publications listed in the second and third part may serve as a good vantage point for linguists with an interest in historical spelling research as part of language variation in the Low Countries. The fourth part introduces the articles that constitute this issue.