Past challenges

Chinnery Summer Transcription Challenge

This summer, we’re taking a break from decoding Dickens and turning attention to another user of the Gurney shorthand system: the artist George Chinnery (1774-1852). Can you crack Chinnery’s shorthand annotations?
Deadline: 15 September 2023.

Past challenges

Easter ‘Nonsense’ Challenge

Can you help us complete transcription of Arthur Stone’s Notebook A? This time the sentences may not be connected to one another, so we’ll need to treat them as separate items. Download an entry form here and give it a go!
Deadline: 30 April 2023

Past challenges

‘Didactic’

‘Didactic’ means ‘intended to instruct’ – but what does Dickens want to teach his pupil Arthur, here? Let’s find out!
Deadline: 3 March 2023

Past challenges

Christmas Special: Fill in the Gaps Challenge

‘Here is a new game’, as Scrooge puts it in A Christmas Carol. For our Christmas Special, we’re inviting decoders old and new to have a go at ‘filling in the gaps’ and solving the symbols that have so far eluded us. Can you crack these ‘impossible’ symbols?
Deadline: Midnight, 31 January 2023.

Past challenges

‘Sunday night’ part I

This month our shorthand page has a longhand date, rather than a longhand title. What does this suggest about the type of document we might be dealing with? Download an entry form and have a go!
Deadline: 30 November 2022

Past challenges

‘Travelling’ part III

Where will these ‘travels’ take us? Help us to find out by taking part in our #SolveItDickens challenge for October, which focuses on the third part of ‘Travelling’.
Deadline: 31 October 2022

Past challenges

‘Travelling’ part II

Our September #SolveItDickens challenge turns to the second part of ‘Travelling’. How does the text continue? We’ll need to transcribe the shorthand to find out!
Deadline: 3 October 2022