1. Education

Journals, Diaries and Letters

Women's lives are recalled in journals, diaries and letters written by ordinary -- or notable -- women. Often these primary source documents are helpful in understanding the activities and thoughts of women in history, but the more intimate aspects of their lives may still be unwritten.
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  2. Women Writers
  3. Women's Lives

Analyzing Nineteenth Century Letters
Three letters from Sarah Bagley to women's rights advocate Angelique Martin, with some study questions and an interpretation by historian Teresa Murphy.

Diaries: Women, Enterprise and Society
A listing of diaries of women, from a listing of the collections of the library of the Harvard Business School.

Manuscript Diary of Elizabeth Cowperthwaite, 1857-1858
Elizabeth Cowperwaite of Philadelphia kept this diary for a little over a year, 1857-58. Its main content is spiritual reflection, but other daily details are also included.

Manuscript Diary of Margaret A. Eadie, 1901-1909
Manuscript diary of Margaret A. Eadie, covering summer months 1901-1909, when she vacationed near Saybrook, Connecticut. Includes details on 35-40 people and their activities.

Michitsuna no haha - Profile - Mother of Michitsuna
A profile of Michitsuna no haha - tenth century Japanese diarist.

North American Women's Letters and Diaries
A large collection of reproductions of diaries, journals and letters -- some published -- from colonial times into the 20th century. Includes such notable women as Abigail Adams, Clara Barton, Elizabeth Blackwell, Emily Dickinson, Kaleleonalani, Helen Keller, Mary Todd Lincoln, Dolley Madison, Sojourner Truth, Martha Washington, Phillis Wheatley, Emma Hart Willard and Frances Willard.

Manuscript Diary of Fanny Ruschenberger, 1858-1881
Six volumes of diaries for Fanny Ruschenberger, an unmarried sewing teacher in Philadelphia, daughter of a physician (William Samuel Ruschenberger). Includes a typical copybook with poetry and other items which interested the writer. Diaries cover her daily activities and also information on her teaching.

Women and Urban Life: Private Letters as a Primary Source
Article by Dr. Lynda Nead on the BBC's History site talks about how letters can be "a valuabe insight into the everyday lives" of women.

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