To decipher Dickens’s shorthand manuscripts, we are working in collaboration with a range of partners. Our partnerships include:
- The Charles Dickens Museum, London
- The Charles Dickens Museum is based at 48 Doughty Street, Dickens’s London home from 1837-39. Their archive includes the papers of renowned stenographer, William J. Carlton. As well as being an expert in various shorthand systems, Carlton was an avid Dickensian and published a book called Charles Dickens: Shorthand Writer. Together with two friends, Carlton attempted to crack various Dickens shorthand manuscripts, with some success. The archive includes his record of these attempts.
- The Dickens Project
- The Dickens Project is a consortium of colleges and universities across the United States and overseas, headquartered at the University of California, Santa Cruz. It hosts the annual Dickens Universe, which combines features of a scholarly conference, a festival, a book club, and summer camp, with participants including academics, graduate and undergraduate students, high school teachers, professionals, and retirees. In 2022, we were pleased to share the Dickens Code in a series of four practical decoding workshops.
- The Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia
- The Rare Books Department at the Free Library of Philadelphia has an outstanding collection of Dickens books, artefacts, and correspondence, including the notebooks of Dickens’s shorthand pupil, Arthur Stone. In 2021, this material was digitised with the support of the Dickens Code project and is available to view here.
- The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, University of Manchester, Manchester
- Among the rich special collections at the John Rylands Research Institute and Library is Dickens’s manuscript shorthand book, in which he details the rules of the Gurney system and numerous symbols – including some that he invented himself. The book is available to view online, here.
- The Victoria & Albert Museum, London
- The V&A is home to the Forster Collection, bequeathed by Dickens’s friend John Forster, which includes manuscripts, books, correspondence, illustrations, and much more. The Museum also has two letters, copied in shorthand, to Dickens’s publisher Richard Bentley.
Over the course of the project, we are also grateful to have worked with:
- The Morgan Library & Museum, New York
- The Morgan Library & Museum is home to the mysterious ‘Tavistock’ letter, which was the subject of our 2021 ‘Decoding Dickens’ prize and led to the first big breakthrough in the Dickens Code project.
- The Lionheart Educational Trust, Leicester
- The Lionheart Educational Trust is a family of fourteen schools (primary and secondary) across the Leicestershire area. In 2022, we were delighted to deliver decoding workshops to Year 10 students at 8 schools, as part of the ‘Being Human’ festival.