Lately I have had the opportunity to catalog several friendship albums. These journals, kept by women in the nineteenth century, contain poetry and stories written for them by their friends. Though the albums were owned by women, the contributors were both male and female.
The owner of the album shown below is unknown. However, the poem seemed apropos for this day celebrating women around the world (click the image for a larger view).
This volume is available for research. Come visit! Be sure to check our calendar for our Women’s History Month happenings, too.
i haven’t heard of friendship albums before – what a wonderful idea. Kind of like a facebook wall, or twitter profile, in the sense of collecting things from other people, though I would imagine a lot more focussed than them! Do you know if they were an American phenomenon of the time? I’ll need to look around and see if there are any examples in UK archives.
Thank you for your comment, Kathryn. I apologize for taking so long to respond. I completely agree the friendship albums are very similar to Facebook or Twitter. I don’t know if they were strictly American. Perhaps in the UK they were called something else? Certainly let me know if you find anything!
on a similar vein – did you see the post on ArchivesInfo about Carte-de-Visite photograph albums – it’s funny how the media likes to think of things such as Facebook, Flickr etc as new, when really it’s part of a long tradition of social media! <ArchivesInfo