On trial: British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries

Thanks to a request from a 4th year dissertation student in HCA the Library now has trial access to Alexander Street’s digital collection British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries, 1500-1900. Spanning more than 400 years it brings together the personal writings of women from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

You can access the database via the E-resources trials page.
Access is available on-campus. For off-campus access you must be connected to the VPN.

Trial access ends 16th November 2018.

Extending back to the 1500s, the collection lets you view history in the context
of women’s thoughts—their struggles, achievements, passions, pursuits, and desires. The collection shows the various shapes and formats of the diary as it evolved, including the travel diary, offering detailed accounts of journeys and descriptions of places; the daily personal diary, in which women reflected more broadly on aspects of their lives; letter diaries, wherein a daily dated letter to a recipient served simultaneously as a diary entry; and other forms.

Both the famous and the unknown populate the collection. The lives and thoughts of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot, Mary Shelley, Queen Victoria, Frances Kemble, Queen Elizabeth, Mary Wollstonecraft, Christina Rossetti, Florence Nightingale, and Maude Gonne can be compared with the experiences and ideas of ordinary women from all walks of life. And because the project captures materials that are written contemporaneously, readers see the honest, often stark perspective of the moment, as opposed to the self-censored attitudes that can appear in a memoir.

Browsing by Author

Access British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries via e-resources trials.
Access is available on-campus.
For off-campus access you must be connected to the VPN.
Access is available until 16th November 2018.
Feedback welcome.

Access is only available to current students and staff at University of Edinburgh.

Caroline Stirling – Academic Support Librarian for History, Classics and Archaeology