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"The book, Mamma gave me, that I might write the journal of my journ[e]y to Wales in it."
With these words, the 13-year old Princess Victoria of Kent began the first volume of her journal, or detailed diary, in 1832, thus starting a habit that would last for the rest of her life, until her death in 1901, by which time she was known to the whole world as Queen Victoria, ruler of a quarter of the world.
Queen Victoria was the longest serving British monarch, reigning as Queen from 1837 to 1901 and as Empress of India from 1876. In total 141 volumes of her journal survive, numbering approximately 33,000 pages. Queen Victoria's journals have never before been published in their entirety and have hitherto only been accessible to scholars by appointment at the Royal Archive. Edited excerpts have been published in print but they cover only a fraction of the whole.
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. Queen Victoria’s journals represent a valuable primary source for scholars of nineteenth century British political and social history and for those working on gender and autobiographical writing.
This website reproduces every page of the surviving volumes of Queen Victoria's journals (including draft volumes and copies made by Lord Esher and Princess Beatrice), as high-resolution color images along with separate photographs of the many illustrations and inserts within the pages. Each page is also being meticulously transcribed and re-keyed, allowing for journals to be searched.
The project to digitize Queen Victoria's Journals has been undertaken in partnership with the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford and the Royal Archives, London. The digitization project has been made possible with the support and generosity of Oxford benefactors The Polonsky Foundation and The Zvi and Ofra Meitar Family Fund. The release of Queen Victoria's Journals has been timed to coincide with the celebrations to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II - the only British Monarch other than Queen Victoria to have reigned for 60 years.
Customers in the United Kingdom: visit www.queenvictoriasjournals.org.
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