For more than two years, scholars and imaging scientists have been using advanced scanning techniques to recover the mostly illegible contents of an 1871 field diary kept by the British explorer David Livingstone in Africa. Low on paper and ink, the explorer had resorted to writing on newspaper sheets, with ink made from berries, and over time the original document had become almost impossible to read. Now the team has unveiled an online “multispectral critical edition” with images, transcriptions, and relevant notes, making Livingstone’s first-person account accessible again. They’ve also created a “Livingstone Spectral Images Archive” to give anyone who wants it direct access to the images, transcriptions, and metadata the project has created, no strings attached. Almost everything in both the edition and the archive comes with a Creative Commons license that allows the contents to be reused with attribution. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Jun 3, 2012 -
The Age of Uncertainty
is my new favorite blog. It's by a gentleman bookseller who works in a warehouse in Sussex processing lorryfuls of used books. He shares the most interesting things he finds, commenting with wit and sensitivity. He also writes entertainingly about his everyday life. Let me point you towards his series of extracts from a diary that came to his warehouse, detailing the life of Derek, an employee of the government who converted to Mormonism. It was a fairly normal life, but the excerpts are fascinating. Here are the entries in order: 1
. He also posts beautiful images he finds, such as Victorian color plates: 1
. Still, it is the remains of ordinary lives washing up on his shores that most enthralls me, such as this tear-inducing post about a family photo album
which was sent to his used books warehouse.
posted by Kattullus
on Aug 13, 2010 -
In the First Person
"is a free, high quality, professionally published, in-depth index of close to 4,000 collections of personal narratives in English from around the world. It lets you keyword search more than 700,000 pages of full-text by more than 18,000 individuals from all walks of life. It also contains pointers to some 4,300 audio and video files and 30,000 bibliographic records." (Description from website.)
You can also browse by repository
and several other ways.
posted by cog_nate
on Aug 7, 2008 -
is a group in various cities that allows people to "share their own adolescent journals, letters, poems, lyrics, home movies, stories and more." It's embarrassing
, to be sure, but it's frequently also hilarious
(NSFW). Recently they've set up a page
to share videos of live performances, and the latest is my favorite so far. "500 Miles To Hollywood
" features Elijah Wood, James Denton (Desperate Housewives), Busy Phillips (Freaks & Geeks), Kevin McDonald (Kids in the Hall) and Curtis Armstrong (Revenge of the Nerds) "helping Jason Smith fulfill his dream and bring a 2-decade-old screenplay to life."
posted by ktoad
on Apr 10, 2008 -
The Diary of John Cam Hobhouse.
(1786-1869) was a close friend of George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron
, and "Hobby-O's" diary contains a vivid account of Hobhouse's friendship and travels with Byron. As editor Peter Cochran writes: "Educated at Westminster and Trinity College Cambridge, [Hobhouse] travelled east
with Byron in 1809, was Best Man at Byron’s wedding
in 1815, travelled across Switzerland
in Byron’s company in 1816 after the separation, around Rome
with Byron in 1817, and lived with Byron in Venice
in the same year. He met Byron at Pisa
again in 1822, after Byron’s facetious poem on his imprisonment in Newgate, My Boy Hobby-O
, had almost terminated their friendship. As a member of the London Greek Committee he encouraged Byron on his last journey in 1823; and had he insisted, Byron’s memoirs would almost certainly not have been destroyed
in 1824." (Memoirs which, in hindsight, are considered a "missing masterpiece
.") Also read Hobhouse's account of Byron's funeral
posted by jayder
on Nov 1, 2006 -
The Numeric Diaries...
So cool. After entering, use the side arrows to navigate back and forth, choose from the drop-down menu, or use the thumbnails
to view images going back to October 1, 2003
. Some images mouse over or click through for further treats or links. And when you're done, you can visit the main site at Trezart
for a lot more art and fun. (French language, via the archives of the great gmtPlus9
posted by taz
on Feb 16, 2005 -
- follow physicists from around the world as they experience the World Year of Physics 2005.
posted by Gyan
on Feb 1, 2005 -
"The entry is dated June 1981, and while I have no memory of writing it, the penmanship is unmistakably my own. There, between accounts of my grandfather dying and a game-winning double I hit in Little League, is an account of my being raped three years before. I concluded the entry by wondering what I would do
if I ever met the man who'd raped me on the street once I myself was a grown man." Original article is a few months old but the follow up (here
) is fresh. [romenesko]
posted by dobbs
on Jul 8, 2004 -
Journal of a Schizophrenic
Over the next several weeks I heard the voice every once in a while, but always in the house, when I was by myself. I became used to it, looked forward to it on occasion. I started playing pool with it. We would play a regular game of eight ball, me with the right hand and the voice with the left. I had never shot with my left hand before, but the voice won as often as not.
posted by moonbird
on Feb 21, 2004 -
Operation Teenage Angst Fest.
Is all the war talk getting you down? Make like your younger self and wallow in some self-obsessed teen angst. You might even want to dig our your old journals and submit
. Keep in mind the cardinal rule
, though: it has to suck.
posted by maud
on Mar 29, 2003 -
Wild West Yorkshire Nature Diary.
'My diary describes a year in the life of woodland, field, marsh, river, canal . . . and a fairly wild back garden . . . in the Calder valley in coal measures country near Wakefield.'
Richard Bell's nature diary has been online since 1998.
The site's links
leads to more nature diaries and related resources : Ackworth School's natural history diary
, Roseberry Topping
, an environmentally friendly slug trap
, Yorkshire dialect verse
, Notes from Pure Land Mountain
(a journal from countryside
Japan), and more.
Although it's not linked,
An English Country Garden
, chronicling a garden in a small village in Dorset, would not be out of place here; neither would Blackberry Creek Journal
, 'a country newsletter about the seasons, animals, gardens and people of a small Michigan farm'. There is a huge collection of gardening journals and homepages here.
posted by plep
on Mar 20, 2003 -
"There should be a law about these people
with web diaries or they should all wear identifying clothing or something, so that innocent bystanders who don't need some perverse kind of public fame can know to steer clear." Or, using Google to flush out potential dating disasters.
posted by Psionic_Tim
on Mar 16, 2002 -
This is one amazing found diray!
Once you start reading this transcription, it is very hard to stop. Incredible. From the site:
Walking to work the week before Christmas, 2000, I found a notebook on the sidewalk, on 5th street between Mission and Folsom. I thought to find a phone number in it and return it, but after reading it, I couldn't find any contact info at all. What I did find was a diary, spanning about nine months of someone's life. Here is the contents of the notebook, reproduced as faithfully as possible.
posted by DragonBoy
on Jan 17, 2001 -
Andrew's launched Diaryland.com.
This is the same person that brought you pitas.com
, he's making easy web interfaces for all those things that people usually learn HTML for. It looks pretty cool for people just starting out. So he's done weblogs, and now diaries, I wonder what's next?
posted by mathowie
on Sep 23, 1999 -