Ida Clarke was the semi-invalid daughter of a ropemaker who did knitting to bring in extra money to the family.
Hester Fearney left school early to work as a seamstress and lived with her fish-peddler father in a raw neighborhood in South Providence.
Although Rhode Island is known as the most predominantly Catholic state in the union and has long been graced with large communities of Italian, Portuguese, African-American, Irish, Slavic, Native American, Jewish and French-Canadian descent, virtually none of these groups are represented among the 140 women whose diaries are in this collection. If anybody wishes to help rectify this situation through a gift, their generosity will be appreciated.
Only three diaries in the collection do not appear to be by Protestant women of northern European ancestry.
However, the following patterns suggest that collecting priorities by the Rhode Island Historical Society have strongly shaped the diary collection.
The following persons compiled a total of 61 additional entries, mostly between 20: Robin Alario, Michael Cardin, Karen Eberhart, Andrew Kerr, Greg Mc Gurin, Lori Salotto and Rick Stattler.
The style and format varies depending on the cataloger and the editing process was not as careful as it should have been.
in the Manuscript Collection of the Rhode Island Historical Society Library Edited by Rick Stattler Originally compiled for a University of Rhode Island seminar in women's history with Dr. Greatly expanded with the help of Rhode Island Historical Society staff and volunteers, June 2004. This guide will certainly not replace the use of the originals, but it will allow researchers to select the diaries best suited to their needs.
, there has been increased recognition of the value of women's diaries as an important building block of our nation's history. For researchers looking for a particular sort of woman (age, location, class, ethnicity, time period), the numerous lists in the front of this guide may be of use.