Seminar: Diaries and Journals Revealed

Ref: C3744512

Diaries: funny, poignant and endlessly fascinating. This course provides an opportunity to look into the lives and events experienced by our ancestors. The diaries to be discussed were all kept by local men and women with varied roles in society. Mainly from the 17th to early 20th century, the contents of the diaries ranges from major national events to local and family matters. Each diary will be set in the context of its time and linked to places and buildings connected with the diarist. Varied and intriguing, this is an opportunity to discover more about the lives and thoughts of our ancestors

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by the Education Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available - contact the Branch for further details.

Course aim

For centuries people have confided their thoughts to their diaries. Many local diaries from the 17th to the early 20th century survive, enabling us to glimpse events through the thoughts and words of the people who experienced them.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Consider aspects of daily life from the 17th to 20th centuries from the view point of people of widely differing backgrounds
  • Identify sources of diaries, both published and unpublished
  • Identify differing styles of diary keeping over the centuries and analyse what may have influenced their content
  • Compare and contrast contemporary and modern interpretation of national events
  • Locate local properties/places associated with diarists discussed

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full course information sheet

Seminar: Diaries and Journals Revealed


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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