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BGSU University Libraries

Diaries, Autobiographies, Letters, etc.: Books

A collection of library and web resources for researching diaries, journals, oral histories, and personal narratives.

Personal Narratives in Books

The BGSU Libraries own many books that are autobiographies, diaries, journals, memoirs, or compilations of letters or oral histories. All are listed in the BGSU Library Catalog. You'll find information below about how to identify these books. You'll also find a few examples of the many books that may be useful to you.

Start Here To Search for Books

When you know the title of the item you are seeking, the first step is to search by title in an online catalog.

Searching in the Catalogs

Whether you're searching the BGSU Libraries Catalog, the OhioLINK Central Catalog, or WorldCat, you can identify diaries, memoirs, etc.written by a particular person by searching for that person's name as the author.


If you're searching for diaries or other personal narratives by on a topic, try searching for the assigned subject heading with one of the following subheadings:

  • Personal narratives
  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Biography
  • Anecdotes
  • Interviews

Note that there isn't a subheading "Autobiography," so "Biography" is used for both biographies and autobiographies.

A few examples of subject headings that use one of these subheadings:

Freedom Rides, 1961 -- Diaries

Composers -- Sweden -- Correspondence

Titanic (Steamship) -- Personal Narratives

Baseball Players -- Anecdotes

Architects -- Interviews


Searching for E-Books

The library provides access to more than 55,000 books from a variety of sources.  For information about ebooks, see the online guide to Ebooks.

A Few Diaries, Memoirs, etc. in the BGSU Libraries