|Weekly News Digest
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Queen Victoria’s Journals Now Available Online
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II launched a unique online resource that provides access to all the personal journals of Queen Victoria. The Bodleian Libraries working in partnership with The Royal Archives and information company ProQuest have, for the first time, made the private records of one of the world’s most influential public figures available for the public to access at www.queenvictoriasjournals.org. The resource is available free of charge to all users in the U.K. and to the national libraries of Her Majesty’s Realms; users outside the U.K. can access the website until June 30, 2012. Thereafter, a specialized version for libraries will become available from ProQuest.
The journals, which span Victoria’s lifetime and consist of 141 volumes numbering more than 43,000 pages, have never been published in their entirety and previously were only accessible by appointment at the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle. In addition to autograph diaries begun by the youthful Princess Victoria, there are edited versions from her later years, redacted and transcribed by the Queen’s daughter, Princess Beatrice.
Queen Victoria was a prolific writer and recorded her thoughts and experiences almost daily, starting with her first entry as a young girl of 13 and continuing until just weeks before her death in 1901. Her journals provide a fascinating insight into her life as queen, giving an intimate first-person account of key events in her life and 63 years on the throne, from her coronation and her marriage to Prince Albert to the Diamond Jubilee of 1897. The journals also trace important events in political and social history, such as meetings with her Prime Ministers, The Great Exhibition, and the Crimean and Boer Wars, shedding previously unrecorded moments of significance for world history.
All the journals are now available via this easy-to-use website and can be browsed and read online. Pages from the journals can be searched by date or place of writing, and transcriptions of each page—searchable by keyword—are currently provided for the period up to 1840, with further releases planned throughout the Diamond Jubilee year. The site includes an interactive timeline and drawings by Queen Victoria, along with selections from her sketchbooks. Finally, the site includes a number of essays about aspects of Queen Victoria’s life, authored by Sir Roy Strong, Laurence Goldman, and Peter Ward-Jones among others.
The Queen Victoria’s Journals website is mobile-compliant and can be viewed from all iPhones, BlackBerry, and Android phones. The website is supported by a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/queenvictoriasjournals and Twitter at @QueenVictoriaRI .
Source: The Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford and ProQuest
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