Before we blogged

Today I stumbled upon a new blog by the Stirling Library Archives. The blog will post highlights from the 1813 entries in Dr Thomas Lucas’ diaries, a Stirling-based surgeon.

It has entertained me on many levels so I thought I would share it with you, along with some of my initial thoughts. And who knows: I may share more thoughts about the blog as the project continues.

But here are my first thoughts:

  1. I wonder what Dr Lucas would think about his private diaries being made publicly available – and in such a modern, digital format at that! After all, when we write our own personal diaries, do we do so with the knowledge that it may one day be made public, or with the hope that it will remain private? I know that my own hand-written diaries are for private consumption only and I have asked that they be destroyed (un-read) by my heirs.
  2. I wonder what Dr Lucas would think about the modern activity of digital diary keeping in the first instance. Certainly he was of an era when personal thoughts and feelings were kept as that: personal. But digital diaries are how some people construct and manage their online identities now.
  3. When you look at the front cover of the diary, there’s a wee swastika in the corner of the label. I wonder how many people know that (1) the symbol wasn’t always used as a symbol of hatred and bigotry and (2) it isn’t actually a corruption of a cross.
  4. The most recent post talks about regimental marches and the reported reason for the departure. I wonder what sort of news delay (and relay) was happening back then. I mean let’s face it, he didn’t get the reports from Twitter or BBC Radio, and Stirling didn’t get its first newspaper, The Stirling Journal, until 1820.
  5. Finally, it strikes me that the way in which Dr Lucas wrote his personal diary entries is very different from how I write in my digital diary (translation: this blog). Case in point: My own story about a regimental march from the Stirling Castle.

Anyhow, I don’t know how often they’ll update the site, but as you know I love old books and stuff so I’m sure I’ll find my way to the archives to check out the original (if I’m allowed).

Oh, and if you know of other, similar projects, please feel free to let me know.

[Photo credits: Stirling Council Archives. Used with permission.]

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