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Archival Adventures: Crossed Letters and Pitman Shorthand

Archival Adventures: Crossed Letters and Pitman Shorthand

It's time for an adventure! This week ArchivistAnthony is exploring two paper saving methods employed during the early days of the United States Postal Service and by soldiers in the American Civil War: Crossed Letters and Pitman Shorthand. Crossed letters (aka Cross-Hatched or Cross-Written) are items where the writing continues after turning the paper – usually 90º. They are not palimpsests because all of the writing was done at the same time and with no intent to remove or replace. Pitman Shorthand was introduced by Sir Isaac Pitman in 1837 and uses symbols to represent the phonetic sounds being recorded. Come see if you can help decipher some uniquely drafted historical documents: bit.ly/ArchivalAdventures153.

Join our community collections archivist, Anthony Wright de Hernandez, for a livestream on Twitch! Every week we explore and discuss materials from Special Collections and University Archives covering topics including university history, NASA pioneers, architecture, science fiction, cooking, LGBTQ+ history, Black history, urban legends, and more. Recordings of previous streams are available on the Libaries' Youtube page.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please email library-event-accessibility-g@vt.edu at least 10 business days prior to the event.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024 Show more dates
2:30pm - 4:30pm
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Anthony Wright de Hernandez


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Community Collections Archivist
Special Collections and University Archives (0434)