Shorthand and Civilization in 17th-Century England

Date: Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Time: 03:00 PM - 04:30 PM
Location: Gorgas Library
Cost: No cost 

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Isaac Newton the mathematician, John Locke the philosopher, Samuel Pepys the navy official and diarist, and Roger Williams the great apologist for religious liberty had something in common-they were all shorthand adepts.  An information technology for the clever and "geeky," stenography emerged with astonishing rapidity in 17th-cenury England, well before parallel developments elsewhere.  First seen as an aid to Puritan piety, shorthand's possibilities were soon grasped by ambitious and creative people seeking to make points and profits.  By mid-century it had become essential to news-gathering, by the end it transformed law and public culture, redefining the normal expectation of public memory.

Lecture by Michael Mendle, Department of History

Contact Info: Donna Adcock, (205) 348-1416,

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