From the Article "Deciphering Shorthand -- Shorthand Specialist Unlocks a Trove of Early Sermons":
Hundreds of sermons, however, were never transcribed, so their content remained unknown for nearly 150 years. LaJean Purcell Carruth, shorthand specialist in the Church History Department, has painstakingly transcribed many of these sermons after becoming familiar with Isaac Pitman’s system. “I went out to the BYU library stacks and found a book on Pitman shorthand and just studied it,” she says.
Fascinating! Related to this is the book The Mormon Passage of George D. Watt: First British Convert & Scribe for Zion. The book is available free as a .pdf (or a print copy is available on Amazon). Watts captured many of these early sermons of the new Mormon church during the 1800's. He used Pitman shorthand and even taught it to Brigham Young (though I don't know how much Young used it, if at all). They went on to try to create a new streamlined alphabet somewhat based on Pittman called Deseret Alphabet. It is a pretty fascinating read. It's not often you come across a biography of a shorthand scribe, but this is one, with warts and all. Fascinating guy.
Last Edit: Sept 30, 2016 23:58:51 GMT -5 by washbear
This post is only obliquely related to this thread, but the thread reminded me of Century 21 Shorthand. That system was devised (I believe in the 1970s) by two Gregg teachers who felt that their students could become proficient faster if the system were significantly revised in certain ways, of which the principal ones were to make all curves counterclockwise and to have only one form for each letter. Century 21 Shorthand was moderately successful, apparently, though it never enjoyed widespread use.
So here's the issue that relates it to this thread: The inventors of Century 21 Shorthand taught at Brigham Young University. I've always wondered whether BYU or the Mormon church made any significant use of the system.
Wow! I never heard of Century 21 shorthand before, or that it was based on Gregg. I don't believe the LDS church ever did anything with it, officially... I'm LDS and attended BYU in the 80's, but have never heard of this until now. They don't even do anything with Deseret Alphabet, though there are folks out there keeping it alive by creating fonts for it and publishing books in the fonts. If I was still in Utah, I'd love to see the shorthand section of BYU's library, but unfortunately I'm on the other side of the country. From what I've heard, they used to have a lot of various shorthand books on hand, though. Thanks for telling me about Century 21! Isn't it interesting, the reach of Gregg shorthand? I learned something new today!
Washbear, I'm glad you found my post interesting. I'm not LDS myself, but I live not very far from Nauvoo, IL. Both LDS and RLDS have museums and archive collections there. I wonder if they have anything related to the early use of shorthand in the church. Maybe I can check on that.