At the age of 13, Queen Victoria became an avid journal writer when her mother gave her a diary to document an upcoming trip to Wales. Her last entry was written more than six decades later, on January 13, 1901, only nine days before her death.
This year, in honour of Queen Victoria’s birth (May 24, 1819) and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, all 141 journal volumes (comprised of 43,765 pages) have been digitized and are now available through a courtesy subscription obtained by Library and Archives Canada (LAC), through The Royal Household, and with the assistance of ProQuest.
The project’s website says that “ As well as detailing household and family matters, the journals reflect affairs of state, describe meetings with statesmen and other eminent figures, and comment on the literature of the day. They represent a valuable primary source for scholars of nineteenth century British political and social history and for those working on gender and autobiographical writing.”
Not only have the diaries been digitized, they have been (and will continue to be) transcribed to allow for a keyword search. In fact, The Queen, as Head of State for Canada, did not leave us unmentioned. A keyword search for “canad*” (without the quotation marks) currently retrieves more than 150 results up to 1839!
As the project continues and more years are transcribed and become searchable, this resource will become more valuable.
To access the journals, use any of the public workstations located at 395 Wellington Street in Ottawa or our Wi-Fi connection and visit the website Queen Victoria’s Journals [http://www.queenvictoriasjournals.org/]. You may browse the journals by date or search for keywords.
Questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!
Where can the journals be viewed today by Canadians?
Our Reference section would be happy to help you with your question. Feel free to use the Ask Us a Question online form.