The Great Diary Project has been set up to provide a permanent home for unwanted diaries of any date or kind. The collection now contains over 2000 diaries, and is adding to this resource as extensively as possible. Once part of the collection, all diaries are housed according to up-to-date conservation standards. All diaries will be catalogued for the Project database, the contents of which will be made freely available to researchers and interested readers, who can consult the originals in Bishopsgate Institute reading room in London. Both Stephen Fry and Boris Johnson are patrons of the ever-expanding project, and anyone who has old or unwanted diaries can be sure that the Institute will take them in gratefully and look after them.
Diaries are among our most precious items of heritage. People in all walks of life have confided and often still confide their thoughts and experiences to the written page, and the result is a unique record of what happens to an individual over months, or even years, as seen through their eyes. No other kind of document offers such a wealth of information about daily life and the ups and downs of human existence. The Project’s idea is to collect as many diaries as possible from now on for long-term preservation. In the future they will be a precious indication of what life, in our own time, was really like.