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Victorian Era Insights

This is an exciting year for England. The Summer Olympics will be held in London and Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee–60 years on the throne. Only Queen Victoria reigned for such a long period. As part of the Diamond Jubilee celebration, the complete diaries of Queen Victoria are available online through the end of June. (In July, they will remain free online to people in the UK.) The website,, contains over 43,000 pages in 141 volumes spanning from 1832-1901. They were released by the Royal Archives and produced in collaboration with Bodelian Libraries at Oxford and Proquest. You can see digital images of Queen Victoria’s original journals through 1937. Later journals were redacted and transcribed by the Queen’s daughter, Princess Beatrice, per Victoria’s request.

Although the diaries are available to us only briefly, the timing could not be better. As you may know, Lowell is currently celebrating Charles Dickens, and the Pollard Memorial Library just kicked off Lowell Reads Great Expectations. Dickens, who was born 200 years ago and visited the city in 1842, wrote during the Victorian Era. Perusing Queen Victoria’s journals will provide insight into this time period and to the woman who reigned when Dickens was creating his most memorable works.

Queen Victoria’s Journals. June 2, 2012).

Schuessler, Jennifer. “Queen Victoria’s Complete Diaries Released Online.” New York Times. May 24, 2012.