I knew about shorthand long before I saw it in person. I was a fan of movies from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. Sometimes in the movies secretaries or their bosses would make a quick reference to shorthand. I just assumed that shorthand meant a person wrote in abbreviations. The donor’s shorthand was composed of swoops, circles, and dots. There was not an abbreviation in the bunch. After doing some digging, it looked like she used Gregg shorthand. Gregg shorthand has many variations. For example, countries utilized the system differently. It was a phonetic system that used intricate symbols. Some shorthand symbols looked very similar. It was amazing that people were able to do shorthand! An aftereffect of that amazement was the realization that learning to read shorthand would take a significant amount of time. For now I am content to keep a list of shorthand resources that researchers could access online or checkout from the library. One interesting website is Omniglot. Omniglot provides a history on shorthand and a summary of the Pitman and Gregg shorthand systems. And I will be making a note in the resulting finding aid when documents are written in shorthand. The least I could do is warn them that they will be reading hieroglyphics.