May is Local History Month and our Theme is Diaries!

From secret ones to social ones, from war ones to working ones, West Yorkshire Archive Service’s Diaries Display gives us a snapshot into how the people of our districts lived their lives. We get an exciting glimpse of their adventures, their tragedies, their duties and daily lives.

The war diary of Mark Wood, 15th Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment, otherwise known as the ‘Leeds Pals’, details his service in France and Egypt 1915 – 1916. [Collection ref: WYL2027]. Held at our Leeds office.

Extract from the transcript diary of Mark Wood of the Leeds Pals on his experience during the First World War.

As people began to travel to the ‘Americas’ and other exotic countries, so the travel diary becomes popular. These often give descriptions of different animals, vegetation, weather and of course the local people and their way of life. Joseph Sharp travelled from Yorkshire to America in 1815 and kept a note of his encounters. [Collection ref: C617]. Held at our Wakefield office.

Extract from Bottom Boat farming diary. Collection ref: C77 held at our Wakefield office.

Farmers and businessmen kept diaries as a means of keeping accounts and notes on their work and produce. The farming diary from Bottom Boat Farm, Wakefield notes livestock and vegetable costs, who bought and sold them and details of  labourers’ wages.

Our collections hold some wonderful diaries of everyday people, both the ordinary and the extraordinary people of our districts. The display will be available to view in all five of our district offices and also at Balne Lane Library, Wakefield for the month of May.

WYAS collects a diverse range of records created by a variety of individuals, groups or businesses. If you would like to discuss the possibility of depositing records or would like to give feedback on the types of records that you would like to see, please contact The Collections Team.


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