19th Century Diary Digitized

University Archives and H.M. Briggs Library Special Collections is pleased to announce the addition of Robert F. Kerr’s Diary to our Digital Content Collection.

Robert F. Kerr, 1904

Robert Floyd Kerr attended Wabash College and later DePauw University, where he graduated in 1877.  After teaching in Indiana for 2 years, he taught English and Mathematics at Hirosaki, Japan in 1879.  Upon his return to the United States in 1880, Kerr taught again throughout the Midwest, settling finally in Brookings in 1885, where he was professor of political economy and Principal of the Preparatory Department.  In 1892, he was ousted from the college and went to Illinois to work but he returned to Brookings in 1898, this time as Librarian and Principal of the Preparatory Department.

The diary covers the period preceding the civil war through New Year’s Eve, 1894.  Begun in 1882, when “time hung more heavily on (his) hands then, than it has ever done before or since,” Kerr begins with family history, then catches himself up in the narrative.  It is a striking window into the personal side of our shared Middle American past.

 The full list of Digital Content can be viewed on the University Archives and H.M. Briggs Library Special Collections Digitized Collections page.  We welcome suggestions for our upcoming digitization projects.

Stephen Van Buren, University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian

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