[PAST EVENT] Unlocking the Diary

December 3, 2010 - March 31, 2011
Swem Library, Third Floor Rotunda Gallery
400 Landrum Dr
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
While some of these diaries may have once been secret, others were family documents and some were intended for publication. One of the diarists featured in our exhibit is a staunch Confederate woman who carefully documents the Union occupation of Winchester, Virginia during the Civil War. A young William & Mary undergraduate describes her day to day life at the College in the first years of female enrollment. Another, a thirty-nine-year-old man with HIV, uses his diary to wrestle with his fears of abandonment and death in the late 1990s. With affection and respect for these writers and the diaries they have left behind, we welcome you to "Unlocking the Diary."

The diaries in our exhibit span the 19th and 20th centuries, and our discussion of the diary brings us into the present day. Our first case, "What Counts", introduces you to the range of forms and styles of the diary. "Life in Transition," our second case, demonstrates how the diary has been used throughout the life cycle by both women and men. "Through Their Eyes: Diarists in Virginia" looks specifically at diaries written by 19th-century Virginia women and our final case, "DiaTribe," features diaries written by William & Mary students, from the first years of female enrollment at the College to the present day.

This exhibit was curated by students in Prof. Jennifer Putzi's "Gender and the American Diary" class (WMST 490/ENGL 475) and the Special Collections Research Center staff. All of the diaries and artifacts featured in the exhibit are from the SCRC collections. Student Curators: Kaitlyn Adkins, Greg Benson, Kimberly Clark, Caitlin Finchum, Greg Glazier, Katelin Hill, Shaunna Jardines, Katherine Perkins, Cassie Adair, Ryan Morris, Kali Murphy, Taysha Pye, Sta'sean Ridley, Casey Sears, and Errin Tom; Exhibit design and installation: Chandi Singer, Burger Archives Assistant, Justin Ferrell '11, SCRC Student Assistant, Fred Haskell '11, SCRC Intern, Staci Chapman '11, SCRC Intern, Kerry Browder, SCRC Volunteer.

Images of the installed exhibit are available at the SRCR's Flickr site: