Or tell me where to find someone who can?
We’re getting the Rice Charter Change Trial records ready to send out out to be digitized and are confronted with a mystery. There are several stenographer’s notebooks in the collection filled with some variety of shorthand. I first ran across these over twenty years ago and tried with no luck to find someone who could read them. That was like prehistoric times though, back in the days when you had to actually go around and ask people. Now we have the internet and I wouldn’t be surprised to find some sort of Shorthand Devotees Group somewhere out there who could clear this right up.
Here’s what the notebooks look like:
And here’s an example of the shorthand:
Judging by the bits and pieces I can read—this looks like a page from the testimony of Logan Wilson, who had been president of the University of Texas and Dean of Newcomb College at Tulane, called by Rice as an expert witness about the state of American higher education—I feel fairly sure that this was a contemporaneous record of the trial, done to provide a quicker way for the Rice administrators who weren’t in the courtroom every day to know what was happening. If that’s so then we don’t need to worry about translating it all into readable English because we have the transcript that was published later.
Bonus: Not a single soul to be found.