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This exhibit features self-consciously created autobiographies or memoirs in which individuals explore life meaning or historical context, as well as private diaries and journals in which authors unintentionally bestow rich personal texture to the fabric of history.

Even pocket diaries and desk calendars which primarily serve to organize passing life details reveal useful information. Scrapbooks and other artistic self works also reward the researcher with evidence of creative self-expression. Diaries, journals, personal scrapbooks, travel narratives, autobiographies, memoirs, and reminiscences convey the personal experiences of ordinary men, women, and children who did not merit even a footnote in the official chronicles of history.

Broadly called "life writing," these works help document much that previously was concealed from the standard record of human experience.

This exhibition was on display in the Special Collections Gallery from August 19-December 18, 1997.

Tags: Biography; Autobiography; Diaries; Scrapbooks