The Gallery of Shorthand
Alfonse M. D’Amato Federal Courthouse
100 Federal Plaza - Central Islip, New York
Dominick M. Tursi - Director
The Gallery of Shorthand relates the history of one of the world’s oldest professions. 5,000 years ago, when the Sumerian civilization realized that thought should be preserved, they created written language. Cicero, believing that spoken thought was equally important, invented the first system of shorthand in 64 BC. Inheriting this practice from the ancient scribes, modern artisans use high-tech shorthand devices and computer technology to instantly produce complete and accurate records of historic and everyday events.
The Gallery uses more than 30 stenotype machines, 50 books, and 20 replicas to tell its story. Special exhibits include War Crimes, Congressional reporting, “How They Do That,” and shorthand from the 8th Century.
Located in the entry rotunda of this Long Island federal courthouse, some 40 miles east of New York City, The Gallery is open to the public for viewing during usual business hours. Free tours are available by prearrangement with Gallery Director Tursi, who is a fulltime court reporter here. Lectures are also available offsite.
All exhibited items are the property of The Tursi Collection. The US General Services Administration (GSA) invited this exhibition and provides rent-free space to The Gallery. The Board of Judges of the EDNY approved creation of the display as a contribution to public awareness of shorthand’s role in the preservation of history.