The Massachusetts Studies Network


Historic Diaries

For those interested and/or involved in transcribing, preserving, digitizing and publishing historic diaries and daybooks.

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Latest Activity: Aug 27, 2016


Diary Projects - Click here to list yours! 3 Replies

Please post a "Reply" to this discussion thread that includes a description of your historic diary projects along with any open questions or related problems you've encountered.There is such a wealth…Continue

Tags: transcription, diaries

Started by Joanne Riley. Last reply by Diana R. Coderre Jul 8, 2010.

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Comment by Mary Concannon on January 21, 2011 at 15:02
Just introducing myself ... HI :)
Comment by Joanne Riley on June 30, 2010 at 12:55
Good question, Marguerite - I'm not sure about the legality on those letters. Certainly the letters to your great-aunt would be her property to pass on to whomever she chose, right? But the others.... Maybe ask the archivists in the MSN to weigh in? The "author's life + 70 years" rule would hold for publication of uncopyrighted, previously unpublished material, but it doesn't sound like you are planning to publish...
Comment by Joanne Riley on June 30, 2010 at 12:47
All - do feel free to launch a separate discussion here for anything you'd like our little interest group to address in a more organized, threaded format. To do that, just click on the link above that says "+ Start Discussion".
Comment by Joanne Riley on June 30, 2010 at 12:45
Hi Anita - oh yes, so right about the benefits of viewing US history through a local history lens... And wonderful that your teachers-in-training had that experience. In working with pocket diaries, I love to come across lines like "Wife and I went to town hall this eve - Fred'k Douglass lecture - topic: John Brown" (1874 Brookline man, Zenas Brett)
Comment by Joanne Riley on June 30, 2010 at 12:40
Hey Mary - good to 'see' you here! Can't wait to hear more about those Quincy diaries so do hurry your vacation (only kidding) and fill us in :))
Comment by Joanne Riley on June 30, 2010 at 12:38
Pleun - ledgers! That would be cool, especially if there were a way to compare costs, inventories etc across ledgers... Would you do them in a structured form (like a spreadsheet) and then online? What does "C-18 and C-19" mean?
Comment by pleun clara bouricius on June 14, 2010 at 8:32
Anita/Joanne: both were mass humanities funded projects, so if you need information.... . One thing I'd like to think about along with putting diaries on the web is putting ledgers on the web. And I'd like to pick one and start working on that. You know, ledgers from general stores C-18 and C-19.
Comment by Mary Clark on June 12, 2010 at 11:07
Hi Joanne, How appropriate! We were just talking about a set of diaries we have in Quincy. I'm off for the next two weeks, but will check in when I get back. Sorry I missed that conference.
Comment by Anita Danker on June 11, 2010 at 16:37
Hi Joanne,
It was the session about local connections to major events in US history -- a pet interest of mine. Another presenter had created a museum/library display of letters from Civil War participants that were published in the local paper. Kids are so much more interested in learning US history if they can hear about people, businesses, and other institutions in their own communities that were touched by the big stories. I required all my preservice teaching students to
research their own communities and identify individuals, etc., involved in national events and then create lesson plans for their demonstration lessons.
Comment by Marguerite Krupp on June 11, 2010 at 16:21
I have some letters (written in pencil on newsprint stock) that were sent during WWI by my mother's uncle from "somewhere in France." Many were to my mother, some to her aunts. My great-aunt gave them to me some time before she died. My question is who owns the letters at this point? I have cousins who would literally take me to court over them if they thought that I had these documents.

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