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Title: The first pre-printed diaries : origins, development and uses of an information genre, 1700-1850
Author: Tubman, Hazel
ISNI:       0000 0004 6493 7599
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines the perceptions and practices of self-writing between 1700 and 1850 as products of the burgeoning information culture of the age. It demonstrates how priorities of information management and the shared, cultural valuing of knowledge shaped the way individuals wrote about themselves in an array of forms over the course of the period. In particular, it asserts that the arrival of the pre-structured diary in 1748 was a significant development because it confirmed and enacted the perception of selfwriting as a factual, empirical pursuit. By requesting the entry of brief 'data' into an essentially scientific form, the table, it made writing about the self an empirical, forensic exercise. This thesis finds that the priorities enshrined in this printed genre were reflected in the way it, and other forms were perceived and used. Individuals 'logged' their existence in pre-ordained categories, and expressed their emotions through snippets of reproduced 'fact'. These habits signalled a broader shift in the way the 'self' was expressed in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. This examination of self-writing provides new insights into the knowledge economy of the period. It argues that the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century culture of knowledge was characterised by the categorisation and management of information. The reproduction of these management systems in individuals' self-writing, this study contends, is an invaluable indicator of the extent to which the culture of information permeated. Above all, these self-writing forms are testament not just to the popularisation of information in this period, but its personalisation: individuals drew on the models, forms, and classifying structures employed in more informational genres to shape the way they wrote about themselves.
Supervisor: Dabhoiwala, Faramerz Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available