19th Century Women’s Diaries

First page of first diary of Rosanna M. Munger, 1886Special Collections has recently purchased sixteen women’s diaries, totaling about 4,800 pages, written in Connecticut and Oregon.

Most of the factual information below is taken from the dealer’s description.

Twelve of the diaries, dating 1886 to 1945, belonged to Rosanna M. Munger, daughter of Theodore Thornton Munger, a Congregationalist minister and an advocate of Horace Bushnell’s “New Theology.”

Born in 1866 in Massachusetts, Rosanna suffered from a not further specified “serious spinal disease” since she was four years old. She served as the literary secretary to her father who was a fellow of Yale and a church pastor. Her disability did not prevent her from attending numerous meetings and events daily and travelling to Europe in 1887 and 1905-1906.

There are three diaries kept by her sister-in-law, Mary Erskine Heilman Munger in Oregon, whose husband was with the US Forest Service. Rosanna M. Munger’s mother Elizabeth K. Duncan Munger is the writer of one diary kept in 1882.

Most of the diaries are five year diaries and the writing is fairly legible.

Diary pages from the 1920-1924 diary of Rosanna M. Munger
Diary pages from the 1920-1924 diary of Rosanna M. Munger