Project at the Swedish Children's Book Institute with the aim of interpreting Astrid Lindgren's stenogram block

Astrid Lindgren is a world writer, but her creative process is shrouded in obscurity. This is because Lindgren wrote and edited his books on shorthand himself. The 670 stenogram blocks that are preserved at the Royal Library and the Swedish Children's Book Institute have been considered impossible to interpret for anyone who is not very knowledgeable in shorthand and has so far been completely unexplored.

The Riksbank's anniversary fund has now allocated funds for this to be addressed. In the research project "Astrid Lindgren Code", competences from literature, computer science and professional shorthand are combined to interpret Lindgren's shorthand through digital methods. The focus is on the 52 stenogram blocks containing the Brothers Lionheart.

Researchers in the project "Astrid Lindgren Code" are Malin Nauwerck, PhD in Literature and Anders Hast, Professor of Computerized Image Processing. Also participating in the project are Karolina Andersotter, librarian with a focus on digital methods, and Britt Almström, parliamentary stenographer, now retired.

& #8211; The material is so unique and interesting that it is almost impossible to understand that it is basically untouched. Getting the opportunity to crack this code, Lindgren's own robbery language, is a favor for a researcher, says Malin Nauwerck.

The Astrid Lindgren Code is the first study of Astrid Lindgren's original manuscript. The project will generate new knowledge about the authorship and contribute to general method development for analysis of handwritten documents.

The project is submitted to the Swedish Children's Book Institute and will last for three years, 2020-2022.

& #8211; This is the first major research project to be submitted to the Swedish Children's Book Institute since the institute became an authorized fund manager. It will be very exciting to be able to follow the work so closely. It is also fun that the project is linked to the institute's collections. Astrid Lindgren donated a number of her stenogram blocks to the institute, so it feels quite right that the project is just here, says Åsa Warnqvist, research leader at the Swedish Children's Book Institute.

Photo: Swedish Children's Book Institute