I learned Pitman's New Era Shorthand aged 20 on a one-year secretarial course at college 1972-73. We covered all the theory in the first term, and worked towards various speed exams during the other two. I gained a certificate for 130wpm, which I subsequently improved through evening classes a few years later to 150wpm. The extra speed gained was essential in taking any stress out of writing from dictation at the workplace. I have found it a very useful skill to have, for both office work and home use.
Being artistically inclined, I enjoy writing shorthand and in 2009 I started my website to describe Pitman's New Era Shorthand in its entirety (although if you are a complete beginner you will need to follow a formal instruction book for graded lessons). Since then I have discovered that not only is shorthand taught very little nowadays compared to when I learned it, but also there is almost no reading material available for students once they have finished their instruction book, other than a handful of ancient books on Ebay and similar places. I am endeavouring to fill that gap with a variety of short pieces, some on shorthand itself and others written with a view to extending your shorthand vocabulary.
I hope you find these useful and if you wish to leave a greeting, please visit my Guestbook.
www.long-live-pitmans-shorthand.org.uk All the theory of Pitman's New Era Shorthand, with extensive reading material, learning advice, free downloads, and many links to sites that you can use for dictation material.
http://pitmans-snippets.blogspot.co.uk Short pieces written in a more lifelike scribbled style, without longhand text, for you to test your shorthand reading skills.
www.youtube.com/Lucy Paintbox includes my demos of writing shorthand.
www.lucypaintbox.org.uk My photos of countryside, plants, flowers, skies, weather for artist reference or home hobby use.