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19th and 20th Century Diary Collection

Identifier: MSS 0282

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of diaries from a variety to women ranging in age from youth to adult. Many diaries in the collection describe the daily lives of the indviduals and their family members, social and religious activities, school activities, and travels throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. A few of the diaries contain entries relating to the US Civil War and WWI. The collection also consists of books owned by the diarists, day books for businesses owned by the diarists or their family members, and an Austrian recipe book. The collection is representative of most regions of the US including the states of California, Illinios, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.


  • 1849 - 1925
  • Other: Date acquired: 2002 February 11

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical or Historical Information

This collection is composed of diaries from numerous women representing various socio-economic backgrounds. One diary is from Jennie E. Adams, an African American individual from Pennsylvania. The diarists include teachers, shopkeepers/busineswomen, a nurse, homemakers, and socialites.


5.73 Linear Feet (13 boxes)

Language of Materials



A collection of diaries from the 19th and 20th centuries divided into three series (Juvenile, Travel, and Women). Diaries relate to personal lives of individuals and families of various backgrounds and represent a majority of regions in the US except the South.

Arrangement Note

This is an artificial collection arranged in three series: 1. Juvenile Diaries; 2. Travel Diaries; 3. Women's Diaries.

Method of Acquisition

The various diaries were purchased from Carmen Valentino Rare Books and Manuscripts; Michael Brown Rare Books, LLC; Cornucopia, Carol A. Greenberg; Abe Books, Inc.; R and A Petrilla; and Stacy Waldman, House of Mirth from February 2002 to July 2013. Jewell Diary is gift of Mr. David Fein, 2009. Mary Alma Jones Diary is a gift of Mary H. Dalton, 1982.

Offensive Language Statement

The UNC Greensboro University Libraries collects, preserves, and makes accessible unique and historical materials for learning and research. The nature of historical materials is such that some material may represent positions, norms, and values that are offensive and objectionable. These materials represent the opinions and actions of their creators. By providing access to these records in our reading room and through our digital collections, we recognize that archives and rare books can play a vital role in holding those creators accountable and in helping us learn from the past.

Our finding aids and other collection descriptions may occasionally re-use language provided by creators or former holders of the materials, but we strive to place outdated or offensive terminology in context. That said, we recognize that we may not always make the right decision and welcome feedback from all sources so we can learn and adjust our practices. Please contact us at if you encounter problematic language in our finding aids or other collection description. We will review the language and, as appropriate, update it in a way that balances preservation of the original context with our ongoing commitment to describing materials with respectful and inclusive language.

Processing Information

Processed by Lisa Whithers.

19th and 20th Century Diary Collection
Lisa Whithers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Revision Statements

  • April 20, 2021: This finding aid underwent changes in Spring 2021 after a reparative archives review. The following link leads to the legacy version of this finding aid:

Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US