Personal Writings

Personal Writings in HOLLIS and WorldCat

In the HOLLIS Catalog and WorldCat several Subject terms refer to personal writings, for example:

  • Autobiographies
  • Autobiography African American authors
  • American diaries
  • Adams, John, 1735-1826 -- Diaries.
  • Adams, John, 1735-1826 -- Correspondence
  • United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Personal narratives
    • “--Personal narratives” is attached to accounts of wars and diseases

Online Full Text

In the First Person is an index to letters, diaries, oral histories and personal narratives which includes all kinds of personal narratives, including autobiographies, in archival/manuscript repositories, published books, microform collections, and web sites.

Social and Cultural History: Letters and Diaries Online is a unified search platform for cross-searching the following databases:

American Civil War: Letters and Diaries includes published and archival memoirs, letters, and diaries, plus supplementary chronologies, biographies, bibliographies, etc.

British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries (1500-1950) includes letters and diaries of 430 women from Colonial times to 1950. Biographical information on the writers is included.

North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories (IMLD) (1800-1950.) includes 342 authors and approximately 37,500 pages of information, illustrating what it meant to immigrate to America and Canada.

North American Women's Letters and Diaries includes approximately 150,000 pages of published letters and diaries from more than 600 women writing from Colonial times to 1950. Some 7,000 pages of previously unpublished materials are included in addition to biographical information.

Oral History Online indexes oral history collections, with links to interview-level bibliographic records and to full-text materials, audio files and visual files where these are available.

Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives, 1960-1974 includes letters, diaries, and oral histories, together with posters, broadsides, pamphlets, advertisements, and audio and video materials.

Oral History

Oral History Online indexes oral history collections, with links to interview-level bibliographic records and to full-text materials, audio files and visual files where these are available.

Civil Rights History Project offers inventory of oral-history interviews with participants in the civil rights movement held in libraries, museums, archives, universities, historical societies, and other institutions. Links to catalog records and finding aids.

Printed diaries

American diaries: an annotated bibliography of published American diaries and journals, by Laura Arksey. 2 v. Detroit, Mich.: Gale Research, 1 983, 1987.
LOCATION: Lamont: REF.ROOM CT214.Z99 A74x 1983
LOCATION: Widener: RR 3623.18.15
--This is a valuable source because it includes a detailed subject index and includes diaries published as periodical articles.

Black Americans in autobiography: an annotated bibliography of autobiographies and autobiographical books written since the Civil War, by Russell C. Brignano. Rev. ed. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1984.
LOCATION: Widener: WID-LC E185.96.Z99 B74 x, 1984
--Lists in two sections full autobiographies and other life writings (diaries, personal narratives, etc.) with occupation, organization, geographic, chronological, and title indexes.

Autobiographies by Americans of color 1980-1994: an annotated bibliography, by Rebecca Stuhr-Rommereim. Troy, NY: Whitston, 1997.
LOCATION: Widener: WID-LC CT220.Z99 S78 1997x
--Lists 499 autobiographies of persons of African, Asian, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Native American heritage with brief summaries. Reprints of pre1980 works are included but usually not annotated. Index includes countries of origin, topics, occupations and names, but not titles.
--Continued by Autobiographies by Americans of color, 1995-2000: an annotated bibliography, by Deborah Stuhr Iwabuchi & Rebecca Stuhr. Albany, NY: Whitston Pub. Co., 2003.
LOCATION: Widener Harvard Depository CT220.Z99
--Lists 674 autobiographies including items missed in the earlier volume. Includes some persons of Middle Eastern heritage.

A guide to finding additional diaries and autobiographies is available in Finding Biographical Information.