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Lucy P. Ruddy Diary

Identifier: SC 00741

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Scope and Contents

Lucy P. Ruddy’s journal is a small one, only covering the period from January 1 - August 3, 1893. The faintly lined pages are unnumbered, except for a few that Lucy numbered at the beginning (pages 1 - 13). She began this journal as a young woman living in late 19th century New England, apparently in or near Lynn, Massachusetts.

On her title page, she displayed her name “Lucy P. Ruddy,” the year “1893,” and a solemn declaration, ”This year for Christ,” followed by her initials. Her first entry after that title page, made on “Sunday, Jan. 1st, 1893,” recited that she had “again consecrated my-self to the Lords [sic] service . . . .”

The entries that follow, until August 3, 1893, show that she helped at home with household chores, worked in a store (Mr. Wheeler’s) and attended church and sabbath school regularly. During this period, when the “Panic of 1893" was depressing the American economy, she noted some slow times at the store. For one of these days, she wrote it was “very dull in the store not much trade.”

On several occasions she recorded her concern for the spiritual well-being of persons she knew. For Marcia, she states that she wishes that “[she] would start for Christ;” for Fred, she writes, “if only [he] were here, that he might give himself up to Jesus.” And, for Gracie, she reports that she had “given her heart to Jesus to- night [sic],” for which she was “so very glad for it.”

In the early part of this journal (the winter months), she remarked on fun activities in her area, like “sleighing” and “skating.” In the last journal entries (written in the summer, July 14 - August 3), she reported on a vacation trip she had taken, traveling apparently to Maine by train and boat. There she writes of helping “Aunty” and of the outings she took with her and others. In her last entry she described a couple of uncommon occurrences for her, like having “tin-types taken for fun” and of being “weiged” [weighed].


  • Creation: 1893


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

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Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

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Acquisition Information:


Physical Description

1 vol., circa 55 pp. (7" x 8.25")

Processing Information:

Accessioned and minimally processed in June 2010 by Ute Schechter, Warrren E. Burger Archivist.

Description enhanced in July 2019 by Robert Browne.

Guide to the Lucy P. Ruddy Diary
Ute Schechter, Warrren E. Burger Archivist.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository