Suggested Readings and Links

Links to Rural Diary Archive Mini-Documentaries

From YouTube

Henry, Dylan. "RDA MINI-DOCS | Mary McDonald (1917-1919) by Dylan Henry." Rural Diary Archive. August 9, 2021. 4:17.

Kuzmaski, Amma. "RDA MINI-DOCS | Eliza Ann MacFarlane (1887-1901) by Amma Kuzmaski." Rural Diary Archive. August 9, 2021. 2:42.

Manes, Rachel. "RDA MINI-DOCS | Ellamanda Krauter Maurer (1918) by Rachel Manes." Rural Diary Archive. August 9, 2021. 6:52.

"RDA MINI-DOCS | "Kith & Kin" Roseltha Wolverton Goble (1862-1864)." Rural Diary Archive. September 10, 2021. 8:55.

Links to Rural Diary Archive Radio Shows

From CBC Radio

Catharine Wilson on the Rural Diary Archive

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.

Fergus Maxwell, "Rural Diary Archive: Hannah Peters Jarvis, Lincoln County, 1845," 10:30 am on Thursday July 26, 2018. (starts at 34:49)

Taylor Graham, "Rural Diary Archive: William Porte, Middlesex County, 1864-98," 10:30 am on Thursday August 2, 2018. (starts at 28:50)

Victoria Hodgkinson, "Rural Diary Archive: William Sunter, Wellington County, 1857," 10:30 am on Thursday August 9, 2018. (starts at 31:20)

Scott Jennings, "Rural Diary Archive: James Cameron, Glengarry County, 1867," 10:30 am on Thursday August 16, 2018. (starts at 29:05)

Courtney Svab, "Rural Diary Archive: Ann Amelia Day Sunley, Wellington County, 1878-1879," 10:30 am on Thursday August 23, 2018. (starts at 32:15)

Rebecca Pyrah, "Rural Diary Archive: Garrison & William Shadd, Kent County, 1885," 10:30 am on Thirsday August 23, 2018. (starts at 31:08)

Suggested Readings

For Discussions of the Genre of Diary Writing:

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

Bunkers, Suzanne L. & Cynthia Anne Huff, Ed. Inscribing the Daily: Critical Essays on Women's Diaries. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1996. In general, life-writing is now turning to the everyday.

Carter, Kathryn. "Accounting for Time in Nineteenth-Century Manuscript Diaries and Photographs." Life Writing 12:4 (2015): 417-430.

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.

Motz, Marilyn Ferris. "Folk Expression of Time and Place: 19th-Century Midwestern Rural Diaries." Journal of American Folklore 100:396 (1987): 131-147.

Steinitz, Rebecca. Time, Space, and Gender in the Nineteenth-Century British Diary. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Steinitz argues that the diary's unique organization of time and space made it a popular vehicle for the dominant discourses of the Victorian era.

Wilson, Catharine. "The Farm Diary: An Intimate and Ongoing Relationship between Artifact and Keeper." Agricultural History 92:2 (2018): 150-171.

Scholarly Works That Employ Diaries and Edited Collections:

Campbell, Gail. 'I wish to keep a record': Nineteenth-Century New Brunswick Women Diarists and Their World. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016.

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.

Conrad, Margaret et al, Ed. No Place Like Home: Diaries and Letters of Nova Scotia Women 1771-1938. Fredericton: Acadiensis Press, 1988.

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.

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.

Little, J.I.  Reading the Diaries of Henry Trent: The Everyday Life of a Canadian Englishman, 1842-1898. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2021.

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.

Rubio, Mary & Elizabeth Waterson, Ed. The Selected Journals of L. M. Montgomery. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985-2004.

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

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

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 Diaries: 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,"