Suggested Readings and Links

Links to Rural Diary Archive Radio Shows 

From the CFRU Radio Archives

Joanne Ryan, “Rural Diary Archive: James Carpenter, Lambton County, 1880-84,” 1:00 pm on Thursday June 2, 2016.

Karley McLinden, “Rural Diary Archive: Samson Howell, Brant County, 1868-69,” 1:00 pm on Thursday June 9, 2016.

Kyle Pritchard, “Rural Diary Archive: James Bowman, Guelph, World War I,” 1:00 pm on Thursday June 16, 2016.

Marissa Gareau, “Rural Diary Archive: John Phenix, Simcoe County, 1896-97,” 1:00 pm on Thursday June 23, 2016.

Nicholas VanExan, “Rural Diary Archive: Elizabeth Simpson, Dufferin County, 1878-82,” 1:00 pm on Thursday June 30, 2016.

Jodey Hodgins, “Rural Diary Archive: William Standen, Simcoe County, 1879,” 1:00 pm on Thursday July 7, 2016.

Katrina Gale, “Rural Diary Archive: Matilda Hill, Wellington County, 1884-85,” 1:00 pm on Thursday July 14, 2016.

Suggested Readings

For Discussions of the Genre of Diary Writing:

Amigoni, David Ed. Life Writing and Victorian Culture. Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2006.

Cully, Margo. Ed. A Day at a Time: The Diary Literature of American Women from 1764 to the Present. New York: Feminist Press, 1985.

McCarthy, Molly. The Accidental Diarist: A History of the Daily Planner in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Scholarly Works That Employ Diaries and Edited Collections:

Wilson, Catharine. “Reciprocal Work Bees and the Meaning of Neighbourhood.” Canadian Historical Review 82:3 (September 2001): 431-464.

Kristofferson, Rob and Andrew Holman, Ed. More of a Man: Diaries of a Scottish Craftsman In Mid-Nineteenth-Century North America. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013.

Carter, Kathryn. “An Economy of Words: Emma Chadwick Stretch’s Account Book Diary, 1859-1860.” Acadiensis 29:1 (Autumn 1999). Carter is particularly attentive to narrative analysis. For example, she draws attention to the submerged narrative of the importance of Emma's tea trade and the narrative weight given to her baby’s sickness.

Carter, Kathryn., Ed. The Small Details of Life: 20 Diaries by Women in Canada, 1830-1996. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002.

Huskins, Bonnie and Michael Boudreau. “‘Daily Allowances:’ Literary Conventions and Daily Life in the Diaries of Ida Louise Martin (nee Friars), Saint John, New Brunswick, 1945-1992,” Acadiensis 34:2 (Spring 2005): 88-108.

Loewen, Royden. From the Inside Out: The Rural Worlds of Mennonite Diarists, 1863-1929. Winnipeg: The University of Manitoba Press, 1999. This is a collection of Mennonite diaries with an excellent introduction to the different types of diaries in general.

Thatcher Ulrich, Laurel. A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 1990. This inspirational book has been made into a movie

Suggested Links

Links to Other Diary Collections and Projects:

Desiree Henderson, "The Diary Index,"

Paul K Lyons, “The Diary Junction,”

“The Great Diary Project,”  This site is dedicated to collecting and preserving diaries.

“Iowa Women’s Lives: Letters and Diaries,” This is part of the larger DIYhistory website which also includes diaries from pioneer times, the Civil War, WWI and WWII. It is a marvelous site and a pioneer in transcribing online.

“Documenting the American South,” This site provides access to digitized primary materials that offer Southern perspectives on American history and culture.

“Martha Ballard’s Diary Online,” This is a wonderful site providing assistance for decoding this diary.

Teresa Casas, “Brampton Farmer’s Diary 1873,” This is a beautifully annotated and illustrated transcription of John H Ferguson’s diary. Our website features this diarist and seeks to transcribe some of the other years of his diary.

Maria Popova, “Famous Writers on the Creative Benefits of Keeping a Diary,” This provides useful and interesting insight from famous writers of the past on the benefits of keeping your own diary.

Links to Blogs and Additional Writing on the Diarists in the Rural Diary Archive 

Catharine Anne Wilson, "WITH THESE HANDS They Wrote Daries: Analyzing the Keeping and Daily Entries of Farm Women's Diaries,"

Catharine Anne Wilson, "Read, Transcribe and Enjoy Rural Women's Diaries Online,"

Catharine Anne Wilson, "Rural Diaries Online: Experience Daily Life in the Backwoods,"