Manual on shorthand by James Weston. The volume, entitled Stenography, or shorthand is an art, contains detailed instructions on how to learn shorthand. It includes extensive vocabulary and syntax, as well as examples and practices for the reader. Written in 1724, the manuscript predates Weston's printed edition of 1727.
Manual on Shorthand
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
James Weston (?1688-?1748) was born in Edinburgh, but by 1722 he had established a reputation as a 'professor' of stenography in London. He courted publicity and promoted his system of shorthand, which relied on a series of arbitrary symbols, in Stenography compleated: or the art of short-hand brought to perfection; being the most easy, exact, speedy, and legible method extant (London: printed for the author, 1727).
Source: Timothy Underhill, 'Weston, James (1688?-1748?)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press -- http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/40523.
Conditions Governing Access
The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.
Purchased by Mrs Enriqueta Augustina Rylands, on behalf of the John Rylands Library, from John Poyntz Spencer, 5th Earl Spencer (1835-1910), in July 1892.
Description compiled by Henry Sullivan, project archivist, with reference to:
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article on James Weston;
- The Stenographic Page of the Exhibition in the Book Museum of the Saxon State and University Library, Dresden Website at http://www.tu-dresden.de/slub/MiamiExhibit/steno.htm (Last visited 21/7/2004).
Other Finding Aids
Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1928 (English MS 52).
The manuscript was formerly part of the Spencer Library at Althorp, Northamptonshire, which was largely assembled by George John Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer (1758-1834); then by descent to John Poyntz Spencer, 5th Earl Spencer (1835-1910).