Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Dear Diary….

Just watched a very interesting programme on BBC4 hosted by Richard E Grant about people that write diaries. He chose 5 people and their own diaries that had been published. Some of these people were known to me, others were not. Each made me think how life changing these books can be whether for good or ill.

As an archivist, diaries do form a very interesting part to personal collections. Like it was said in the programme you are there with the person on that very day that they have written. It can at times feel like a voyeur into a life and thoughts that are far too personal for someone unconnected to be reading. Somehow you have to make sense of this and return it to some sort of order within the collection.

I thought to myself I am not a diarist but then what have I been doing sporadically for the last couple of months? Only with this it can have an immediate audience and reaction.


  1. The Archive I work in contains diaries which I've started cataloguing, and there is something very privileged about reading someone's diaries, though you're right as well, sometimes you do feel like a bit of a voyeur! I think the Richard E Grant programme was the best of the series, his enthusiasm for the subject was visible for all.

  2. Kathryn thank you for your response and sorry for not getting back to you sooner. As you have seen from further posts I have been seeking out some sort of employment!

    Yes I do agree with you it is a privilege, I find this coming back to me again and again as I work as an archivist. We are also in a great position of trust to not misuse the information we find or be manipulated.

    I wish you well with your cataloguing project.