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William J. Smith Diary

Identifier: SC 00782

Scope and Contents

Diary of a worker, probably William J. Smith, of Visalia, Tulare County, California, recording his varying types of daily work, income and expenses, weather, health issues and social life for January through 11 November, 1937.

The following description was provided by the seller:

"This is a handwritten diary printed on the cover "The Clipper Diary 1937". Inside this diary is a Tulare County General Hospital Out-Patient Department card for William J. Smith of Visalia and a paper receipt from the Pacific Rural Press, San Francisco for Wm. J. Smith of Visalia California. Because of a reference to being in the hospital, I think that William J. Smith is the man who kept the diary. These items will be included with the diary. The diary measures 4 1/2" by 6 1/4". It contains 318 pages. The diary was started on Jan. 1, 1937 and continued until November 11, 1937. The pencil entries in the diary gave a day by day account of weather, who the man worked for, what type of work he did and how many hours he worked. It seemed that he did any kind of work for a variety of people. He picked crops, cleaned out barns, etc. There is also a section describing being in a hospital waiting for his surgery, telling about other patients, and information about his recovery. He talks about visiting other people and areas. This is a depression diary and shows how hard people had to work. It also tells about Edie canning large quantities of food. He went to see the circus come to town, he went to see a fire that was burning in the area. It is simply the daily life of an ordinary man and what he did each day. What is most impressive is that he is so calm about his life and never seems to be upset if he works one hour or thirteen hours a day. It is just what he does. There is one page in the back that lists when he was paid and how much he received from different people that had worked for. The diary ends on page 191. From 192 to 318 is a printed almanac; A pronunciation key for words commonly mispronounced; Constitution of the United States, U. S. Broadcasting stations including Call Letters, Klocycle, Meters, Location, Power; Population of the United States; Menus; Domestic and Foreign Postal Rates, etc. The Diary has white spots on the cover. The inside is in good condition."


  • 1937


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.

Conditions Governing Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from the Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.


0.01 Linear Foot

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased in February 2009 (2009.041)
Guide to the William J. Smith Diary
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository