Can you help unmask the shorthand in Shackleton’s notes?

The Royal Scottish Geographical Society is appealing for help from resourceful shorthanders to decode Sir Ernest Shackleton’s notes.

The notation was recently found in the society’s collections by its Writer in Residence, Jo Woolf.

The society told how the shorthand was found on “the CV of Sir Ernest Shackleton, who was applying (successfully!) for the post of Secretary in 1903.

“But what does all that shorthand say”

The Southern Party
The Southern Party

In 1903, Shackleton had just returned from his first Antarctic expedition with Captain Robert Falcon Scott on board the Discovery and was seeking employment while planning his next venture.

His CV was beautifully prepared and printed, and contained testimonials from his most influential friends, among them Sir Clements Markham, secretary of the Royal Geographical Society in London who described him as “able, zealous, conscientious and energetic”.

Personally, I think we’d need to see quite a few more examples of his shorthand plus some idea of what he might have been writing about to start decoding what it means.

Although this shorthand is on his CV chances are it has nothing whatsoever to do with his CV, which makes the exercise a potential guessing game as it stands.

But who knows?

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