Explore our exhibition on diaries and journals

documenting everyday exhibit
View Dear Diary: Documenting the Everyday, on display on the 7th floor at W.A.C. Bennett Library.

three diaries with a gray archives box

About the exhibition

Notebooks, journals, and diaries give us glimpses into individual private lives and personal thoughts that are otherwise missing from the historical record. But does "private" and "personal" necessarily mean unfiltered? People use diaries to document their days, provide a creative outlet, record their travels from home, or comfort them in difficult times. The act of keeping a diary shows a desire to preserve stories for future reading, even if only by a future version of the self. Sometimes diaries are intended for publication from the beginning, and in other cases the decision to edit a diary for publication is made later on. We invite you to think about how journals embody elements of both private and public writing and the overlap between these categories.


What's on display?

This exhibition features a selection of diaries and notebooks from across Special Collections and Rare Books. It explores different genres of diary, including travel diaries, diaries by incarcerated people, poetic diaries, dream diaries and everyday diaries.

Included in the exhibit are items from the following:

poetry pamphlet with handwritten notes

diary display


November 28 - February 28
M - F 8:30am - 4:30pm
7th floor, W.A.C. Bennett Library (SFU Burnaby)

Contact for further information

For more information, contact Special Collections and Rare Books at scrb@sfu.ca