Sunday, October 4, 2009

Variety is the Spice of Life



1815 Diary Cover

After visiting the diary of my 5th Great-Grandmother, Sylvia Lewis Tyler (6 Jun 1785 - 18 Dec 1851), in a museum I fell in love with the covers of her diaries. Most of them were plain, but a few of them are covered with colorful wallpapers. My favorite, pictured above, is the cover of Sylvia Lewis Tyler's 1815 diary. She used the front page of a local newspaper, the Spectator, as the cover. Click on any of the pictures to view a larger version.


The majority of the diaries are covered with a simple sheet of paper, like the two examples above.


 

The most interesting, however, are the three pictured above that are covered with wallpaper. The curator believes that they may be the remnants of the wallpaper that Abel and Sylvia Lewis Tyler used to line the inside of the trunks they made. These trunks were made for sale and it is likely that Sylvia used these scraps, when available, to spice up the covers of her diaries.

A few of the covers have been altered by well meaning descendants who have written dates in ink and taped edges. I am happy that they are now in the museum where they have the appropriate staff and means to care for them.

12 comments:

  1. That's so interesting! Are they actual books and then she covered the covers with this? The wallpaper ones are very pretty.

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  2. Each year (with a few exceptions) is individually hand-bound. She would fold a stack of papers in half and then bind the edge with thread. In a few years, there are more than one of of these 'stacks' in the final binding for the year. She then covered the stack(s) with some time of cover, mostly another sheet of paper, but sometimes wallpaper, and bound that to the stacks with thread. Cool, huh?

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  3. What a treasure! Have you been able to get transcriptions of the diaries?

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  4. Hi Sara Beth, I nominated your blog for the Kreativ Blogger award - you can pick it up at AncestorSoup! Thanks for some great reading.

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  5. Oh, my heart traveled with you as I read of your wonderful, magical, amazing experience. To have found such a treasure is beyond my hope. I thrill with you for your incredible find. ~ Yaya

    Yaya's Home

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  6. Sara Beth, I picked you for the "Kreativ Bloggers Award". You can stop by my blog and pick it up.

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  7. Sara Beth, I, too, nominated you for the Kreativ Blog Award. You can pick it up at http://yourfamilystory-cmpointer.blogspot.com

    Caroline

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  9. Hello Sara Beth....I enjoy reading your blog and think you deserve the Kreativ Bloggers Award. Please stop by "Our Twigs" to pick up your award.

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  10. Hi, Sara Beth. Congratulations on all the Kreativ Bloggers Awards! Your blog IS wonderful. I'm new to blogging and found yours through Desperately Seeking Surnames. I was surprised to see Bickerstaff as one of your surnames. I have Bickerstaffs too. Mine are in Jefferson County, Ohio, in the early 1800s, and before that Maryland, I think.
    I think your ggrandmother Sylvia's diaries are wonderful. What a treasure to be able to find them. Where were you able to read the transcriptions? Are they available to the general public online somewhere? I would like to read them, having grown up in Trumbull County, Ohio, and for the history of the Ohio area.
    Thanks for your great blog.
    Nancy M.

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  11. LOL I also nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger Award!

    http://herstoryan.blogspot.com/2009/11/kreativ-blogger-award.html

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  12. What an awesome diary! I have one that belonged to my grandfather, written when he was 16 years old in 1916. So interesting, and I have yet to read it all. Diaries are the greatest treasures from the past.

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