I describe myself as “ever so slightly obsessed with diaries,” which is probably an understatement. I have been keeping a diary since I was in high school but my interest goes far beyond my own modest writing habit. I authored a book about diaries (published July 2019) and I have been reading widely across the history of the genre for my research.

In the course of this research, I realized that digitization technologies are profoundly changing diary studies. As more and more historical diaries are digitized, they become available for scholars, students, and general readers to encounter and enjoy. I created an index of digitized diaries that is meant as a resource for anyone curious about these materials. I also used to blog about diaries, including offering guidelines to diarists about how to store and preserve their writing.

These days I am co-editing on an anthology of diary fiction (forthcoming from Bloomsbury) and thinking a great deal about pedagogy.

Updated July 2022

3 thoughts on “Diaries

  1. Sarah Simpson says:

    Hi, Desiree!
    I too am “ever so slightly obsessed with diaries” and am delighted to have found your VERY helpful index of digitized diaries. I recently started a website called Parallel Entries (www.parallelentries.net), which collects diary and journal excerpts written by different people on the same date across the years. I hope you’ll consider submitting some older entries of your own! Please spread the word. I do hope we can meet some day and talk diaries. Thanks again for all the work you’ve done in this fascinating, important field.
    Warm regards,
    Sarah Simpson

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ramoroy says:

    Dear Desiree-
    I was looking into donating my diaries to a university for some kind of psych studies ( mostly because grief and narcissism in family motivated my writing) I was also considering destroying them and came across your blog and site. Thank you, as I’m sure part of me didn’t want to just burn everything ( I’m also an artist from Texas, I attended ETSU) – I’ve been writing since I was 9 but I did destroy 9-21 out of sheer embarrassment. I also wish there were an American diary archive. I worked in NY as a conservator and realize how precious works on paper can be, though it’s hard to feel that way about ones own work. Thank you for your work and I’ll continue to follow your writings.


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