Anne Lister journal transcripts

Published on 1 January, 2020.  Last updated 30 January 2023

Journal or diary?

Either word conveys the meaning of a written log used to capture personal impressions of events and experiences, however Anne Lister herself uses the term journal in her own journals, so we employ the same throughout this website for cohesion.

Anne Lister wrote over four million words over her lifetime (1791-1840) in the form of personal journals (a sixth of which in coded language to keep secret the details of her intimate life and reflections), gifting us with insight about a rich and adventurous life. The journals are kept by the West Yorkshire Archive Service

There is no complete, fully available version of all transcribed journals today. 

However, hundreds of volunteers—known as Anne Lister Code Breakers—are currently completing this transcription work and generously donating their transcriptions back to the archives so that they will eventually be available to all. In the meantime, the facsimile image for each journal page can be accessed fully and freely online from the WYAS online catalogue

While this work continues, transcriptions for each page are being gradually added to the Description field on the item level in the archive catalogue, and full volumes are being made available for download in PDF format:

Useful Tools

To search by the date of Anne's journal entry, or using select keywords, try using the AL Index or Eliza Left Us finding aids. These provide links to both the WYAS Catalogue pages with the source journal images as well as published codebreaker blogs. 

AL Index

This open-source project uses a calendar to make locating fully transcribed entries that are publicly available more easily accessible for those searching for information in the journal by date or keywords.

Eliza Left Us 

An evolving project to make searching the WYAS archive index more easily searchable that includes locating journal pages by date, a weather report tool, and an index keyword finding aid.

Listeria Transcription Tools

Includes a crypt-hand encoder/decoder, and an MS Word "add-in" that spell-checks abbrev[iate]d w[o]rds and transcript formatting to assist contributors of the WYAS diary transcription project.

Anne Lister Encoder/Decoder

A text generator to encode or decode passages using Anne Lister's crypt-hand. 

Lister Crypt Font

A free font based on Anne Lister's own handwriting. Includes automated ligatures, and translates type to her crypt-hand.

Codebreaker Blogs

The following is a list of blogs by codebreakers who publicly shared entries from various periods in Anne Lister's life while working on their official transcriptions for the WYAS project. If you know of any others, please let us know

Anne Lister of Halifax

by Karen Trillo

Transcription of Anne Lister's Journal - 22/3/1835 - 29/2/1836

Anne Lister Journal Transcriptions

by Steph Gallaway (@skgway)

Transcriptions of entries from Anne Lister’s stay with the Norcliffe family at Langton Hall in 1818, 1820, with the Belcombes at Petergate in 1821, Isabella's Norcliffe's stay with the Listers at Shibden Hall in 1824, Anne's journey to Paris (and introduction to Maria Barlow) in 1824, writing to Sibella MacLean and Maria Barlow from Shibden Hall in 1825, visit to Lawton Hall in 1828 with Mariana and Charles, the 'Mr. Ainsworth' business with Ann Walker in 1832, and more.

Tolerably Good Transcriptions

by Alison Kirchgasser 

Covers 1818 and will include 1819 to 1831.


by Jane Kendall (@janekendalljane)

Journal transcriptions from 1829 Jul. 11-29; 1830 Nov. 10-Dec. 1; 1831 Jul. 7-Aug. 1 and Dec. 5-25; 1832 Mar. 1-21 and  Sep. 28-Oct. 15; 1833 Feb. 6-Mar. 4 and Sept. 18-Nov. 9; 1835 Jan. 2-28, Sept. 8-Oct. 18, and Dec. 15-31; 1836 Jan. 1-21

Anne Lister's Adventures

by Marlene Oliveira (@moliveiradev) 

Journal transcriptions from different years, mostly from 1836 onwards.

Very Civil

by David Hughes (@ParkieBath)

Entries from Anne Lister's journal

Anne Lister & Sibella Maclean 

(Previously known as The Real Anne Lister)

by Leigh Mitchinson (website no longer accessible)

An assortment of “Uncut Diary Transcriptions” across various years, including a series following the travels of Anne Lister and Sibella MacLean through Scotland. 

Anne Lister Journals

by Jan Webster(@JanWebs17461835)

Journal transcriptions, mostly from 1828.

Magnesia and Lemon Juice

by Jessica Payne (@jessicampayne)

Journal transcriptions, mostly from 1826.

Ver[y] Fine Day

by JY Jiang

Journal transcriptions, mostly from 1839.

Anne Lister Norway

by Yvonne Haugen (@yvonnehaugen)

Transcripts of the full Norway travel journal with illustrations, maps markings and comments. 

Pink Mead

by Ylva Nilson (@shewolfse)

Anne Lister Code Breaker in learning. Journal transcripts from 1839.

This Was A While Since

by Kerstin H (@A_While_Since)

Journal transcriptions from various years.

Wrote The Above of Today

by Erin Resso (@deejayres) 

Journal transcriptions, mostly from 1825.

Was Always A Great Pickle

by Chloe Nacci (@chloenacho) 

Journal transcriptions, mostly from 1825-1830.

Dawdling Over One Thing or Other

by Amanda Pryce (@AmandaDS)

Journal transcriptions from different years, mostly from 1824, 1828 & 1831

Anne Lister’s Diary

by Lily Mo (@woollymitts) 

Picking up from where the first season of Gentleman Jack TV show ended, journal entries from March 31, 1834 onwards.


by Kate Igoe (@nakajimab5n)

Journal transcriptions from different years, mostly from 1831

Anne's adventures in England and abroad

by Janneke van der Weijden (@JannekevanderW)

Journal transcriptions focused on Anne's travels, mostly from 1831.

Random AL Diary Transcriptions

by Janneke van der Weijden (@JannekevanderW)

Miscellaneous journal entries.

ver. fine day

by @PascM76

Days in the life of Miss Anne Lister through the transcriptions of her personal journal entries

The Diaries of Anne Lister

by Kat Williams (@KaeD_Wills) 

Assorted journal entries.

Anne The Lass Lister

by Ripley (@who_the_lass)

Assorted entries from June, September and October 1819.

The Deeds to Shibden

by Dorjana Širola (@d_sirola)

annotated transcriptions of Anne Lister's diary and travel notes

Anne Lister Coded Diary Entries

Author unknown (website no longer accessible) |

Entries from the coded sections of Anne Lister's diaries from 20 October, 1832 through 11 August, 1840. 

Helena Whitbread's transcripts 

by Helena Whitbread (@helenawhitbread)

Select journal entries (some partial only) from the period of 1817-1824 from Helena Whitbread's extensive transcription work done for her books "I Know My Own Heart" and "No Priest But Love". 

Christmas 1834

by Marlene Oliveira (@moliveiradev) (PDF)

Fully transcribed journal entries between 22 and 27 December, 1834. 

Account for Miscellany

by Jessica Btik

Set of journal transcriptions spanning periods across the years 1836, 1837 and 1838. 

Miss Lister Keeps A Journal

by Jenna Beyer (@BeyerJenna5)

In progress transcription of the period of May-July 1822, which will include Anne Lister's trip to Wales, where she visits the Ladies of Llangollen.

I Love and Only Love the Fairer Sex

by Soph (@Rundle_Walker)

In progress transcription of journal entries starting in late 1817.

Go On Fearlessly

by Sophie C. 

Journal transcriptions focusing on Anne Lister's courtship of Ann Walker starting with their reacquaintance on 6 July, 1832.

Tour of North Wales 11-27 July 1822

by Kirsty McHugh, edited by Elizabeth Edwards

Transcription of journal entries from Anne's tour of North Wales 11-27 July, 1822.

Special thank you to Steph Gallaway for collecting initial references.