good text for beginners

Hello.  From the research I’ve done, I think the shorthand version I want to learn is Diamond Jubilee.  Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find a website that sells a beginner-level book for that series, and my local library doesn’t have one either.  Any tips on where I might find this?  Thanks very much.


(by af071175 for everyone)

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  1. Hello, Amanda.   Diamond Jubilee is a great version to learn.  It's what I learned in high school, and it's still what I consider the "standard" version of Gregg (I think we all tend to like what we learned first . . . )   The DJS books are out of print (true of many shorthand texts).  The two best places to find them are E-Bay, where the basic Diamond Jubilee textbook shows up fairly often, and  That's the Advanced Book Exchange, an on-line service for used books.  You should be able to find the DJS text very inexpensively there.  The basic textbook is titled simply "Gregg Shorthand"; authors are John Robert Grett, Louis A. Leslie, and Charles E. Zoubek; date of publication was 1963.  A second edition of DJS, with a different format and page layout, was published in 1971.  If you search for the title and those dates you should find exactly what you want.   Alex

  2. Welcome, Amanda. is, but either link will get you to the site.   A search for "gregg shorthand diamond" brings up 171 results, the first page has lots of DJ dictionaries and "for Colleges" texts for $1.00 each. Shipping is extra, but I've never paid more than $8.00 for that.   Here's a link to a discussion of all the books available for DJ.   Texts on Diamond Jubilee Series   Good luck!

  3. Hello there,   You can check the Ebay auction screens.  I saw at least 4 DJS manuals on the front page.  There are at least 188 items listed for auction; not all of them will be DJS.  Go to this URL and click on the "Ebay" auction button.  Once you get your book(s), you might consider using your mouse or electronic pen to practice your shorthand writing from the Public Whiteboard on my website at  You can write your shorthand or even type directly onto the whiteboard and make comments or ask questions on the same page from the chat line.  Scroll down so you can see both the wb and the chat line.  This is especially wonderful when a teacher needs to explain or demonstrate one area of shorthand to a student.  Up to 5 persons can be on the wb at one time.  Not that you would want this!  You can see what you write as well as what your friends write.  If you'd like something more private, you can use the "single-user" room from the same Public Whiteboard room.  No one sees what you write there.  I'll be happy to meet anyone there twice a week to assist with shorthand questions they may have regarding DJS.  It's convenient for me this way, since I'm already working on that website regularly.  I hope this helps toward your quest in learning shorthand.  Good luck and have fun!  Ms. Letha.  Rye, Co.  [email protected]

  4. There don't seem to be a lot of Diamond Jubilee texts on E-Bay right now; usually there are 3 or 4 at any given time. (or . . . they're the same) will be your best bet if you want to find a copy now.  If you do a "keyword" search for "Gregg shorthand Diamond Jubilee" you'll get a long list of choices starting for about $1.00 (shipping is always extra).  It looks like there are lots of copies of the DJS dictionary, as well as the college text, but also some copies of the standard "yellow" textbook.  (The college edition is fine, by the way).    Good luck!   Alex

  5. Hey, Vic.   I'm not in the market for DJS texts . . . I was just trying to steer Amanda in the right direction, if she's interested in purchasing something now.  E-Bay is a great source, but DJS seems scarce there right now.  If she wants to get started, will be quicker–and the $1-$2 books they have listed will probably be at least as cheap, if not cheaper than what might come up on E-Bay.   I'm a collector, too.  It's a sad illness . . . and the problem with collecting Gregg texts is that the company was so darned prolific–multiple versions, multiple editions, multiple formats.    I've studied the various versions, but stick with DJS.  In terms of my favorite Gregg books, though, I really like the"Gregg Shorthand Junior Manual" that was published in the 1920s, and the British "Teach Yourself Shorthand" by Crockett and Symonds (1943, English Universities Press).  Of course, nothing compares with "Alice in Wonderland"–it's a shame that it's so rare.   Alex

  6. Welcome Amanda, Although it's great to go online I think we're all missing a great resource that will carry first and second edition Diamond Jubilee & Series 90 books……THE LIBRARY. Both my hometown and my trans-hometown carry every series, ever. If you're local library does not carry them have it searched through their borrowing library. I've loaned books from NJ/NY/CT and other parts of the country.

    It's always better to have the actual book with you, even though online can provide easy access.

    I'm currently freshing-up on my skills during the holiday to get back to 220+ wpm. I have a cousin who can actually speak at this pace for five minutes; just to help out her little cousin.

    On another note: an ESL podcast has a few letters of dictation available:


  7. Jes,

    First off, as a beginner, I can only look at that "220+ wpm" with awe. Wow!!!

    Secondly, although you're probably right that she can get an interlibrary loan, she did mention the library in her original post, "… and my local library doesn't have one either." So, she hadn't exactly forgotten about that resource. I wish that my county (El Dorado County, CA) library had every series ever. It just has the manual I already own for Simplified, a very few DJS books and a Centennial Manual (not counting a Pitman dictionary and some Century 21 books).

    Anyway, I hope that you're finding what you need Amanda. Another website to try is (make sure that it's just "bookfinder" not "bookfinders" as that is apparently a porn site; I went to it by mistake the other day).

  8. When the Gregg "Alice" turns up, you have to grab it–within limits.  Sometimes it sells for several hundred dollars, which I think is crazy.  The problem is that this book appeals to collectors of "Alice" who don't have any connection with shorthand, so there's much more competition than with other Gregg books.  I have two copies–one I bought years ago from a bookseller in San Francisko, for about $25.  It has good text, but the rear cover was bent at some time.  The other one I bought from a seller in England for about $65–its cover is in perfect shape, but the pages have some slight water damage.  So I figure between the two of them I've got a good cover and good text.    I have two facsimiles of the earliest Gregg texts.  One is Gregg's Liverpool edition (1888) of what he called "Light Line Phonography:  The Phonetic Handwriting."  McGraw-Hill reprinted it in 1971 just as a promotional item.    The other is a reprint of the first American edition of "Gregg's Shorthand" (Boston, 1893).  It was reprinted in 1931 for the "Thirty-third Annual Convention of the Eastern Commercial Teachers' Association".    For me, these two were the hardest to come by, and were just chance finds over the years.  Since there's about 0 possibility of one of the originals turning up, having the facsimiles is great.    Some of the early "polemic" volumes are really interesting, too.  I have "The Basic Principles of Gregg Shorthand" (1923, autographed by Dr. Gregg), "The Factors of Shorthand Speed" (David Wolfe Brown, 1910), "Practical Pointers for Shorthand Students" (Frank Rutherford, 1904), "The Teaching of Shorthand" (Gregg, 1916), "The Q's and A's of Shorthand Theory" (Gregg, 1924), and "Twenty Shortcuts to Shorthand Speed" (Clyde Blanchard, 1939).  I've got a few other random books like these–they were all designed to argue that Gregg's system was better than the competitors'.    Some day I need to sit down and really organize my shorthand books.    Alex

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