Semantography Series

The Semantography Series is a set of documents written by Charles Bliss. They deal with many topics related to Charles Bliss' invention Semantography, which came to be known as Blissymbols or Blissymbolics. Many of the documents are autobiographical and offer a unique first person account of the holocaust.

I am in the process of scanning those documents that I have in my possession. Some are very large (over 200 pages) and will not find their way onto this website. The total number in the series exceeds 500.

The documents were stored in an unheated shed behind the rooming house that Charles Bliss operated. Unfortunately, many of the documents suffered from damage due to dampness and local cats. The shed was lovingly referred to as 'Charles' Paper Shop'.

Ultimately, the shed burned down with the loss of all of the papers. However, prior to that loss copies of all material were collected by representatives of the National Library in Canberra.

The series in this website are fairly complete up until number 300. From that point significant gaps appear. This could be due to a number of reasons, but the primary are:

  • That numbered series had run out by the time I visited the paper shop.
  • They were not stored according to the system Charles had laid out. There were many boxes in the paper shop and I did not have time to go through them all.
  • Charles did not print them in the first place. Charles laid out a scheme for his series, but by the time of the 300 series he ran out of time to write them. This can be viewed in document 301.

There are only two of the 400 series on this website. By this time Charles' conflict with the Ontario Crippled Children's Centre (and subsequently the Blissymbolics Communications Foundation/Institute) was in full swing. I believe that he simply did not have the time or money to maintain the series. This is further evidenced by the appearance of two documents that are obviously part of the series but which are not numbered (see Semantography Series Unnumbered Editions). The reader should bear in mind that while he was doing all of this work for his symbol system he was also managing a boarding house with residents who could, at times, be problematic.

I think, but am not certain, that many of the Semantography Series 400 to 500 detailed this conflict. For example, Charles produced a document that he called 'The book of the Sincere Critiques'. This publication is 300 pages in length and I recollect him telling me it was part of the Semantography Series. However, it is not numbered so I cannot confirm that recollection.

Semantography Series: 001 to 100

Semantography Series: 101 to 200

Semantography Series: 201 to 300

Semantography Series: 301 to 400

Semantography Series: 401 and greater

Semantography Series: Unnumbered Editions