Past challenges

November 2023 Challenge: Beginning Notebook D

For our November challenge, we are returning to Arthur Stone’s notebooks, which are held at the Free Library of Philadelphia. We have completed Notebooks A, B and C and have arrived at Notebook D, which contains 31 pages of shorthand and one blank page.  Notebook D is a real mystery because there are very few clues here as to what might be inside. There are no headings and we do not seem to be dealing with two different shorthand versions of the same text, as we have been up to now. It looks as if the shorthand has been written by the same person. Judging by the poor quality of the shorthand that person seems to be Arthur.

Here are the first two pages of the notebook. They may or may not be connected. Please look at them carefully before you start. As you decipher, please bear in mind the following questions:

  • Are the lines connected? Does any part of any page make up a coherent text? If so, can you identify the source?
  • Is any part of any page just notes or corrections? Do the characters represent individual words and phrases written just for practice?
  • Are the pages connected. If so, in what order?
A page from Arthur Stone’s Notebook D (ref: cdc5890012-02) © The Free Library of Philadelphia.
A page from Arthur Stone’s Notebook D (ref: cdc5890012-04) © The Free Library of Philadelphia.

Please complete as much of the entry form as you can and email us your solutions by 4 December 2023. Good luck!

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