Dear Diary: A Celebration of Diaries and their Digital Descendants. The Dear Diary exhibition, King’s College London, 2017

Rozemarijn Van de Wal

Abstract


Diaries present a valuable source for historical research. They provide an insight into the lives of ordinary people, informing us about the everyday as well as the extraordinary in the context of changing times and societies. Diaries give us a personal perspective on public issues, an understanding of how people thought at a certain time and place, information almost unobtainable from other sources. However, diary writing is a genre at risk. Not only do diarists often disregard the value of their writings and make no plans or efforts for their future conservation, but the private nature of diaries often makes people hesitant about saving them for future generations. In addition, the advancement of the digital age is radically changing the genre. Traditionally associated with pen and paper, diaries are increasingly ‘written’ online or otherwise compiled through the use of digital methods. The internet is quite literally changing our lives as well as the practices of life-writing.

 

This article was submitted to the European Journal of Life Writing on 8 August 2017 and published on 5 October 2017.


Keywords


Diaries

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5463/ejlw.6.230

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Copyright (c) 2017 Rozemarijn Van de Wal

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European Journal of Life Writing - ISSN 1876-8156 - is an open access initiative supported by the VU University Library.