Many of the Special and Document Collections contain personal papers and diaries such as the 1788 diary and letters of Englishman Thomas Ridout who was captured by Indians on the Ohio river, U.S.A.  Seven men were captured but only Thomas Ridout and one other were lucky enough to live to tell the tale. His story is backed up by newspaper articles informing readers of their capture.

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It was very common for combatants and civilians of the First and second World War to record the daily events of their experiences in the form of a diary.

This is the diary of Ellen Lister. It shows that on the day before the First World War broke out in the hot Summer of August 1914 the Lister family went to see the popular New York comedy play Potash and Perlmutter which had crossed the Atlantic to rave reviews. This comedy was probably touring in repertory theatre. A production was very well reviewed in the Reading Eagle in September 1914 thus showing, like this diary, that the general population had little inkling of the forthcoming horrors of the Great War.

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Filed under: Family History Treasures

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