Reviews and Reports

Li Gerhalter, Tagebücher als Quellen: Forschungsfelder und Sammlungen seit 1800


  • Volker Depkat University of Regensburg



Book review


Focusing on Germany and Austria from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, this erudite and thorough study aims at historicizing the use of diaries as scholarly evidence and historical sources in the academic disciplines of pedagogy and early childhood research, youth psychology, and the new cultural history emerging in the 1980s. For each of these disciplines, Li Gerhalter, the long-time curator and now director of the ‘Sammlung Frauennachlässe’ at the University of Vienna (, traces whose diaries were collected, when, by whom, for which scholarly purposes, and to what effect for the formation and transformation of the respective academic discipline under scrutiny. In addition, the individual chapters shed light on the donors of diaries, the culture and practices of diary writing, and the different communicative and epistemological functions that diaries had for their writers and researchers.

Author Biography

Volker Depkat, University of Regensburg

Volker Depkat is a historian and professor of American Studies at the University of Regensburg. He received his PhD from the University of Göttingen in 1996 and completed his Habilitation at the University of Greifwald in 2003. He has published widely in the field of biography and autobiography studies and is the author of Lebenswenden und Zeitenwenden: Deutsche Politiker und die Erfahrungen des 20. Jahrhunderts (Munich 2007). Currently, he is writing a biography of Harriet Tubman for the German market.





Reviews and Reports