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ARKSEY, Laura, PRIES, Nancy and REED, Marcia


American Diaries; An Annotated Bibliography of Published American Diaries and Journals  Volume I: Diaries Written from 1492 to 1844  and  Volume II: Diaries Written from 1845 to 1950  Detroit, Michigan, Gale Research Company, 1983 and 1987, pp xviii & 370 (double column) and xviii & 501 (double column). This listing of the work of 6,048 diarists supersedes William Matthews' American Diaries (qv). All the diaries listed by Matthews are included here except for a few Canadian diaries with no evident American content, some foreign diaries with no locatable English translations, and some items which neither Matthews nor the present compilers were able to locate. Additional material includes, as well as diaries started after Matthews' cut-off date of 1861, many which have been published since 1945; and also Alaskan, Hawaiian and many Spanish American diaries, which at the time fell outside his definition of 'American', as well as those of American missionaries serving in foreign countries, which he also omitted. The compilers have accepted Matthews' definitions of diaries but have applied them more strictly to new material, without excluding any of the old. Although, as is usual, no attempt has been made to give the complete publishing history of every diary, care has been taken to list modern reprints of otherwise inaccessible works. The organisation of entries follows the earlier work by listing diarists in alphabetical order under the year in which the diary begins, but there are changes to the internal layout while retaining the same general content. Annotations are more consistent, disciplined, and often fuller than those of Matthews, and the compilers have eschewed all expressions of opinion.

There are name, subject and geographic indices to both volumes, but these are not cumulated.

Note: The two volumes of this bibliography are known as 'Arksey' in the body of this publication. Entries in Arksey are referenced by the letter M, followed by the Arksey reference number, to the right hand of the first line.

BATTS, John Stuart

British Manuscript Diaries of the 19th. Century: An Annotated Listing  London, Centaur Press, 1979, pp xi and 345. There are listed more than three thousand manuscript diaries which were started between 1800 and 1899. Their locations are given, together with the dates and occupations of the authors, if known, and brief descriptions of the contents. The list is arranged in the now conventional order of the year in which the writer's first entry occurs and are indexed by name; there is also a good attempt at a subject index. The scope of the bibliography is best explained by this extract from the introduction:

"The annotated list presented here focuses on the unpublished diaries of the nineteenth century; to have included published diaries would have been to make the list excessively bulky and to duplicate diaries covered in Matthews' (qv) collection; and whereas certain diaries have been published since British Diaries, it was felt that these would already be known to those who might wish to use them. Furthermore, partial publication of a manuscript diary has been judged to constitute a published diary, for in such cases the editors usually give some indication of the volume of omitted material, its nature, and its location.

"Many of the unpublished items which appear in British Diaries also appear here, sometimes with additional information incorporated. For example some of the manuscripts are now deposited in different locations; in some instances additional volumes or facts about the diarist have been brought to light; some attributions of anonymous manuscripts have been since confirmed; occasionally dates have been corrected; and finally I have found out from a few private owners of manuscripts that no diaries as such exist among the papers in their possession even though cited in British Diaries;......"

BELL, Peter

Victorian Biography; A Checklist of Contemporary Biographies of British Men & Women Dying between 1851 and 1901  Edinburgh, Peter Bell (Bookseller), 1993, pp 193 plus introduction and preface, A4, spiral bound. The listing is primarily concerned with biography and autobiography, and specifically excludes diarists mentioned by Matthews, but there are some references to diaries and probably clues to many more.



Guide to Mormon Diaries & Autobiographies  Provo, Utah, Brigham Young University Press, 1977, pp xi and 417. A listing of the printed and manuscript diaries of 2,894 Mormon diarists, arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name, which appeared in the holdings of the libraries searched up to 1973. The bibliography gives the dates of birth and death of the diarists; classification as autobiography, journal or diary; dates of coverage and extant form; indications are given of location, length, and often of physical size. Annotations are very full, detailed and informative, often with short quotations. There is a subject index, which relates principally to Missions and geographical locations.

CARTER, Kathryn


Diaries in English by Women in Canada, 1753-1995; An Annotated Bibliography  Ottawa, Canadian Research Institutefor the Advancement of Women, 1997. This is ‘Feminist Voices Publication No. 4’. A listing of more than five hundred diaries available in Canadian repositories. Although the book is primarily concerned with manuscript diaries, details of publication are given where relevant. Diarists are listed in alphabetical order followed by maiden name, and life dates; the dates covered by the diary are given, then the manuscript location, followed by publishing data when applicable. Very brief notes of background and content usually appear next and the entries are sometimes concluded by references to secondary sources.  

CLINE, Cheryl


Women's Diaries, Journals, and Letters: An Annotated Bibliography  New York and London, Garland Publishing, 1989, pp xxxviii and 716. The bibliography lists 2,632 published private writings of women, without restriction of date or geographical location, and includes some in languages other than English. Diaries, journals and letters are listed by author in alphabetical order; usually her dates of birth and death are given, followed by a few words of biographical information; the title of the book follows, with names of editors and translators, publisher, place and date, and often the number of pages. Annotations are not always present and are usually very brief notes of content. Also listed in separate sections are bibliographies, critical works, anthologies and family collections: a further 358 items.

The introduction discusses the motivation and characteristics of women's personal writing from a feminist standpoint and is particularly interesting for its examination of the distortions and excisions inflicted by editors, which are shown to be particularly significant when applied to women's writing.

The bibliography itself is particularly useful for its wide coverage, but location of a work by date is not possible: this differs from the usual practice in bibliographies of this sort, in which authors are listed by the initial date of their earliest published composition; it is therefore more than usually difficult to discover listed publications which have been missed by other bibliographers: a difficulty which is only partly overcome by extensive indexation by 'profession or significant characteristic', by subject, by location (a particularly broad classification, in which the United States of America is treated as a single unit), and by the title of the published work.

COLE, Garold L.


1.  American Travellers to Mexico, 1821-1972  Whitston Publishers, 1978.

2.  Travels in America: From the Voyages of Discovery to the Present  Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1984.

3.  Civil War Eyewitnesses: An Annotated Bibliography of Books and Articles 1955-1986  University of South Carolina Press, 1988.

4.Civil War Eyewitnesses: An Annotated Bibliography of Books and Articles 1986-1996  University of South Carolina Press, 2000.

COPE, Esther S. with Willson, H.Coates

03 - Proceedings of the Short Parliament of 1640  Royal Historical Society, Camden Fourth series, Volume 19, 1977. This contains transcripts of Parliamentary Journals not otherwise noticed.

CREATON, Heather


Unpublished London Diaries: A Checklist of unpublished diaries by Londoners and visitors with a select Bibliography of published diaries   The London Record Society, XXXVII, 2003.

GARD, Robin


The Observant Traveller: Diaries of Travel in England Wales and Scotland in the County Record Offices of England and Wales  London, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, for the Association of County Archivists, 1989. Six hundred and eight diaries are catalogued, written by three hundred and sixty diarists from 1629 to the 1970's including five from the seventeenth century, one hundred and sixty from the eighteenth, four hundred from the nineteenth and forty from the twentieth century. The catalogue is ordered by Record Office, with addresses given, and there is an index of diarists and of places. Each entry consists of: catalogue number; name and any details of diarist; counties, places or areas visited; year of journey; the number of volumes if more than one; the approximate size of volumes; number of pages; if illustrated; and the document reference number. The major part of the book is devoted to characteristic extracts from one hundred and thirty seven diaries, few of which have been printed elsewhere. (See entry in Bibliography of Anthologies, Collections and Studies).



The Published Diaries and Letters of American Women: an annotated bibliography  Boston, Massachusetts, G.K.Hall & Co., 1987, pp xiv and 230. Publications are listed in order of the year in which the first entry was made, or letter written, and in alphabetical order of the book title, within years. Title, publisher, date and pagination are followed by the annotation, which includes the author's name in heavy type, with her dates of birth and death, where known. Annotations are full and objective, giving excellent summaries of the contents. There are both author and subject indexes. The bibliography is restricted to the writings of "American females who were writing in the United States" but exclusions on other grounds are limited to undated journals, diaries and letters which are fictional or of doubtful authenticity, and "biographical works in which the amount of editorial intrusion has negated the value of the excerpts from the diaries or letters". No cut-off date is given but publications to 1984 are included.

Note: Entries in Goodfriend are referenced in this publication where the diary is known only from this source. The reference consists of the letter G, followed by the Goodfriend page number, to the right hand of the first line.

HAVLICE, Patricia Pate

And So to Bed: A Bibliography of Diaries Published in English  Metuchen, New Jersey, and London, The Scarecrow Press, 1987, pp viii and 698. The listing, which is in order of the year in which the first entry appears, approximately follows the format established by Matthews (qv): the diarist's name, and dates of birth and death where known, the period covered by the diary as printed, a brief note of the contents, with occasional comment, and details of publication. The diarists are indexed by name and there is also a general index which lists book titles and many useful subject areas. The general scope of the book is described in the preface:

"The majority of the diaries annotated here were written or translated into English and published as books, chapters in books, or journal articles. Also included are microform publications and dissertations because of their wide dissemination in today's world. There is no limitation on the nationality of the diarist or the time period covered. The material must only have been published in English. I did not repeat Matthews' listings except in a couple of instances when I felt he did not make the full import of the diary clear."

The author has also compiled a most useful combined index to Matthews' American Diaries, British Diaries and Canadian Diaries & Autobiographies but unfortunately, for reasons which are given under the entry for that book, has failed to refer to British Autobiographies. The reader is also referred to the relevant entry in Matthews whenever a diarist also appears in this book.

The bibliography is particularly strong on material which is of American origin or which has been published in America: nearly five hundred of the two thousand five hundred entries occur between 1861 and 1865, of which a very large proportion relates the Civil War.

Note: Entries in Havlice are referenced in this publication by the letter H, followed by the Havlice reference number, to the right hand of the first line.


1.  American Diaries; An Annotated Bibliography of American Diaries Written Prior to the Year 1861  with the assistance of Roy Harvey Pearce. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1945 (University of California Publications in English, Volume XVI), pp xiv and 384. Reprinted, Boston, J.Canner, 1959 and 1969. The entries, more than two thousand of them, are listed in order of the year of the first entry in the diary, and alphabetically by author within years. There is given the name, rank, dates, and often the place of origin of the diarist, with a note of the contents, frequently with comment, and details of publication. The author discusses the criteria used to justify description of included works as diaries, the practical, and useful effect of which has been to give wide tolerance to doubtful material. Beyond this the scope of the bibliography is defined in the preface in these words:

"I have also restricted the scope of the list to the English-speaking world of America, provided they were written in English or have been translated into English, but I have not included the journals of French and Spanish explorers and missionaries outside the areas controlled by English-speaking Americans. American missionaries are not pursued beyond the present territory of the United States, but the diaries written by American laymen visiting foreign parts have been brought in. After struggling for some time to separate the Canadians and Americans in the Northeast, the Old Northwest, and the Pacific Northwest, I decided that, for my purposes, it was more profitable, as well as easier, to include all Canadian Diaries written in English..........  I fear that I may have missed many Canadian Diaries.

"The list is restricted to diaries and journals that have been published completely or in substantial part."

There is an index of diarists but no attempt has been made to create a subject index. The cut off date is designed to exclude the very many diaries of the Civil War period.

Note: Entries in Matthews' American Diaries are referenced in this publication by the letter A, followed by the Matthews page number, to the right hand of the first line.

2.  British Diaries; An Annotated Bibliography of British Diaries Written between 1442 and 1942  Berkeley, University of California Press, 1950, pp xxxiv and 339. Reprinted, California Library Reprint Edition, 1984. The arrangement of this list of more than two thousand diaries is on the same pattern as American Diaries but in this case unpublished manuscript material is included and there is an additional index of diaries extending over more than ten years. It is again useful to quote from the author's preface:

"The method of handling the material is the same as in the book on American diaries. I have excluded travel narratives which are not day-by-day records, chronicles, commonplace books, ship's logs (though not diaries kept at sea, which seem to me to have a significant personal element), reminiscences, autobiographies, minutes, accounts, muster rolls, memoirs, all of which are sometimes called journals by their editors and publishers. I have also excluded parliamentary diaries and explorers' journals. I have dropped the impossible distinction between 'diary' and 'journal' which I unsuccessfully tried to maintain in the earlier book, and the books and manuscripts included here are diaries in my definition: a personal record of what interested the diarist, usually kept day by day, each day's record being self contained and written soon after the events occurred, the style usually being free from organised exposition.

"As I intend to publish two other descriptive bibliographies of personal writings, one of British autobiographies, the other of Commonwealth diaries and autobiographies, I have imposed a geographical restriction on the material included here. Diaries relating to the British dominions and colonies will be included in the Commonwealth list, as will diaries relating to Asia, the whole of Africa, and Latin America......... In general, the book includes diaries written by Englishmen, Scotsmen, Welshmen, and Irishmen in the British Isles, in Europe, and on the high seas, and also the diaries of American and other travelers in the British Isles, so far as they have been published in England and in English."

Unfortunately the Commonwealth bibliography was never completed and the accumulated material was used in British Autobiographies (qv).

Note:  Entries in Matthews' British Diaries are referenced in this publication by the letter B, followed by the Matthews page number, to the right of the first line.

3.  Canadian Diaries and Autobiographies  Berkeley, University of California Press, 1950, pp 130 plus introduction and index. The book is printed as facsimile typescript and lists one thousand two hundred and seventy six books, articles, and manuscripts, of which perhaps a quarter are diaries; the distinction is not always entirely clear from the annotation. The content of entries follows Matthews' customary pattern but the entries themselves are much less expansive and are printed in alphabetical order of diarist, thus obviating the need for an alphabetical index but introducing a serious difficulty for the searcher interested in material of specific date; this difficulty is only partially mitigated by the subject index which also fails to distinguish diaries from other forms. The author gives no cut-off date and presumably listed all material which came to his notice before the book went to press. Once again the author's preface usefully defines the scope of the book:

"I have excluded French material prior to the French and Indian Wars, material relating to the Old North-West except where it is clearly of Canadian interest, the diaries and travel books of Americans visiting in Canada, the diaries of fur-traders who worked in what is now American territory, the journals of world explorers like Cook and Arctic explorers whose travels were only incidentally in Canada. The writings of travelers in Canada are included when in diary form,............  In my American Diaries there are numerous items of Canadian interest written by Americans which are not repeated here."

Note: Entries in Matthews' Canadian Diaries and Autobiographies are referenced in this publication by the letter C, followed by the Matthews reference number, to the right of the first line.

4.  British Autobiographies; An Annotated Bibliography of British Autobiographies Published or Written before 1951  Berkeley, University of California Press, 1955, pp xiv and 376. Printed as facsimile double column typescript. Reprinted, Hamden Connecticut, Archon Books, 1968, and Berkeley, California Library Reprint Edition, 1984. The more than three thousand entries are more compressed than in Matthews' other books, giving a minimum of biographical material and publication detail, titles are often shortened and the annotations are very brief, although sufficient for most purposes. The entries are ordered alphabetically by author, raising the same problems as in Canadian Diaries & Autobiographies but, because of the volume of material, in a more acute form; again there is a subject index but the keyword 'diary' is absent. The importance of the book for the bibliography of diaries, incidentally belying its title, is explained in the preface:

"When I published British Diaries, I excluded colonial diaries, thinking to include them in a list of autobiographies and diaries relating solely to the colonies and dominions. Having changed my plans, I had to decide what to do with the colonial diaries and I decided to include them here."

This is the one Matthews volume containing printed material that Havlice (qv) did not cross reference in her book, nor are relevant entries included in her combined index to Matthews. There is important material buried here for the patient explorer.

Note: Entries in Matthews' British Autobiographies are referenced in this publication by the letter D, followed by the Matthews page number, to the right of the first line.


5.  American Diaries in Manuscript, 1580-1954; A Descriptive Bibliography  Athens, University of Georgia Press, 1974, pp xvi and 176. A listing of more than five thousand manuscript diaries, the majority unpublished, in library holdings within the United States. The format follows that of the compiler's American Diaries, with the omission of biographical data and pagination; annotations are usually very short and are not always present, but the locations of the manuscripts are given. There is an author index and where an author is responsible for more than one manuscript, cross-references are provided; undated manuscripts are collected at the end. There is no subject index. The criteria for inclusion are not made explicit but it appears that all manuscripts are included, wherever written, provided that the author was a native or settled American.


1.  Texts and Calendars: An Analytical Guide to Serial Publications  (Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, No. 7). London, Royal Historical Society, 1958; re-issued with corrections, 1978, pp xi and 674. This is an analytical guide to printed texts relating to English and Welsh (also Scottish, in the case of publications by public bodies) history issued in general collections or in series by a public body or private society before the end of March 1957, and is also a catalogue of the relevant holdings of the library of the Royal Historical Society; it therefore provides much very useful information about the many diaries printed by national and local record societies although the exclusion of volumes of transactions and of those in which the preponderance of material is, for instance, of archaeological interest, is unfortunate, but understandable. The guide is an essential source for diaries appearing in print after 1947, which were not available to Matthews, many of which escaped Havlice.

2.  Texts and Calendars II: An Analytical Guide to Serial Publications 1957-1982  (Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, No. 12). London, The Royal Historical Society, 1983, pp xi and 323. This volume continues the work previously described.

STEVENSON, David and Wendy B.

Scottish Texts and Calendars: An Analytical Guide to Serial Publications  (Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, No. 14; and Scottish History Society, Fourth Series, Volume 23). London, Royal Historical Society and Edinburgh, Scottish History Society, 1987, pp xii and 233. This volume is a companion to the Mullins books (qv) and repairs the omission of the publications of the Scottish private societies therefrom. No cut off date is given but publications up to 1985 are included.

Bibliography of Bibliographies


An Annotated Bibliography of Diaries Printed in English