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The Role of Diaries

7/10/2012 12:46:29 PM | by Anonymous

Diaries

Diaries are used to keep records with discrete entries by authors reporting what happened over the course of the day or a certain period. They can be used to keep personal records that the author experiences, thoughts and feelings about happenings and may also include comments on current affairs outside of the writer’s direct experience. They can also be used for business or institutional purposes to keep records of government affairs, business ledgers, military records or school records. A person who keeps a diary to keep records of happenings is called a diarist. Another term for diaries is journals; however a journal entry is not as frequent as an entry in the diary.

 

Diaries serve many purposes depending on their intended use. Personal diaries record the emotions of the author which he or she might not want to share with anyone else. These records are written with no intention of being published but instead just for the author’s own reference. Authors can write about various things in diaries and journals with deeper reflections on spirituality, marriage, job aspirations and so on. Some diaries may be shared amongst circle of friends and family. On the other hand, diaries used for institutional or business purpose would not likely capture the author’s feelings and thoughts but would more likely be based on professional notes and things that the author might want to refer back to in the future. For example a salesperson might want to keep a diary to record meeting with clients as well as take notes about the client to be more professional and aid his or her job. Government sectors might keep diaries to keep track of finance or other records that might be relevant to them.

 

Diaries and journals have played an important role in human existence for a very long time; from the earliest days of recorded history. The earliest known record of personal diaries that were used by people to record experiences dates back over two thousand years and they are the pillowbooks of Japanese court ladies and Asian travel journals. Some of the earliest explorers and travelers also kept diaries to record their experiences and an example of such a person can be 9th century scholar Li Ao who recorded the experience of his journey through southern China in a diary. One of the most commonly known record of a personal diary which was published and became a best seller is the diary of a young Jewish girl whose family had to hide from the Nazis in the attic of an Amsterdam apartment during the holocaust. The diary is known as the ‘Diary of Anne Frank’ and the original copy of the diary still survives until today and been displayed in a museum. It was not written with any intention of being published.

 

Typically a personal diary may contain all the information required to write an autobiography or biography of a person but it is not intended to be published but instead meant for the author’s own use. However, some diaries that had been published recently contained evidence that they were being written with the intention of eventual publication in mind.

 

With developments in technology, typical hand written diaries are dying out and blogs have been receiving great popularity in the last decade. Blogs are types of websites that an individual can create on the World Wide Web to serve the purpose of a diary. These websites can be accessed by anyone in the world or only specific people depending on the privacy settings imposed by the author. However, blogs can be used to serve other purposes as well, for example as online shopping sites. Therefore they cannot be classified entirely as diaries.

 

Diaries serve many purposes depending on their application and have become an integral part of societies worldwide.

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