REPORTER
MELINDA WALKER

Focusing on address by His Holiness Pope Francis
to the US Congress (2015)

 

REPORTER VIVIEN SPITZ
(left, hand at head)

Used Gregg Shorthand to report the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (1946)

 

LORETTA LYNCH

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch
visits The Gallery

 

J. EDWARD VARALLO

Ed (left) is considered the world's best reporter.
Pictured with Director Dom Tursi.

 

DOM TURSI – Gallery Director

Addresses audience - Entry Rotunda at The Gallery

 

GALLERY GUESTS

Mingling and enjoying refreshments following a Gallery event

 

Shorthand History Display

Gallery display of shorthand books dating to mid-1600s

 

US District Courthouse

Alfonse M. D’Amato Federal Courthouse Central Islip, New York

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How Many Years Does the Shorthand Profession Trace Its Legacy?

5000
Years

3500 BC to 3100 BC ...

When the Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations concluded that all important thought should be preserved, they invented systems of written literacy and trained select students as scribes.  The words they recorded have benefited future societies.

In 63 BC ... In 1873 ...

In 63 BC, when Cicero concluded that Roman Senate deliberations could influence future governmental structures, he invented the first shorthand system.

In 1873 both houses of the US Congress hired Official Reporters of Debates to preserve their deliberations.  These are published in The Congressional Record – begun by Thomas Lloyd, the first Congressional reporter.

For 2000 years ...

During its first 2,000 years, shorthand evolved from using a stylus on wax tablets, to writing with quills on parchment, then ink pen on paper, and ultimately to those amazing machines of the last 100 years.

Even its name has evolved:  scribe, shorthand writer, stenographer, stenotypist, and today Court Reporter and CART Captioner.  At the heart of all these labels and techniques is an artisan using a short system of writing to preserve important thought.

Shorthand continually adapts to societal needs – from preserving parliamentary debates,  capturing the extemporaneous musings of philosophers and great literary thinkers, to spreading pulpit preachings, and of course capturing courtroom dramas and momentous events that have shaped the course of history.

Today ...

Modern shorthand reporters embrace digital technology to convert speech to text instantly.  These words provide communication access for the deaf, are displayed for meeting participants, and are seen as TV subtitles worldwide.

Today’s verbatim reporters continue to make the official record in Congress and most US courtrooms.  And notably, after scrutinizing all available methodologies to provide complete transparency, realtime stenographic reporters were chosen to provide the press with same-day transcripts of perhaps the most significant proceedings of this century – the military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay.

For More Shorthand History ...

To learn more about shorthand and its history , visit the History area on this website. 

There you can journey through 5000 years, briefly or more thoroughly, in our “Timeline Evolution of Shorthand.” 

Historical Narratives” shares commentaries by Historian Dominick Tursi.

If you are interested in learning how shorthand has evolved in America, an overview awaits you at “Shorthand Growth in America – a Timeline”