Exploring the Exhibition

Notepaper headed in a gothic typeface 'Tavistock House, Tavistock Square, London, W.C'. On the paper, handwritten in ink, fifteen lines of Brachygraphy shorthand set in four paragraphs.

The Tavistock Letter, one of the shorthand manuscripts deciphered by the Dickens Decoders for the first time in 2022. © The Morgan Library & Museum, MA 107.43.

As you explore the exhibits, click on the images to find out more about individual collection items. You can also listen to a variety of audio recordings performed by Dominic Gerrard.

Please note that in some cases there is more than one possible interpretation for a symbol and we have either identified the most likely possibility based upon the crowd-crafted transcription process, contextual research, and grammatical sense, or left a gap in the text. In some of the audio recordings, these gaps are filled so that the reading makes sense.

If you have suggestions for source texts or for filling in the gaps in these transcriptions please get in touch via the 'Contact' form. To take part in future decoding challenges, visit our website.


Curated by Dr Claire Wood (University of Leicester) and Professor Hugo Bowles (University of Foggia, now University of Buckingham).


Please click on individual collection items for rights information.

Exploring the Exhibition