Anne Lister journal transcripts
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.
Transcriptions of Anne Lister's Journals
Anne Lister wrote over five million words over her lifetime (1791-1840) in the form of personal journals (an estimated sixth of which was 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 are 25 journals plus one volume collecting 3 sets of loose sheet diary notes from Anne's early years, known as volume 26. Altogether, the journals span 8568 pages (excluding covers) with occasional blank pages. As well, there are 14 travel journals spanning 679 pages (excluding covers). Between journals and travel journals, the total number of pages across all volumes is 9247.
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. You can find all the available volumes below.
Volume 26 collects 3 sets of diary entries spanning 1806-1817, which precedes Anne Lister starting to keep a more regular uniform diary.
Other journal entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Entries from the coded sections of Anne Lister's diaries from 20 October, 1832 through 11 August, 1840.
⚠️ Previous URL (no longer accessible): annelistersdiary.com
by Leigh Mitchinson
An assortment of “Uncut Diary Transcriptions” across various years, including a series following the travels of Anne Lister and Sibella MacLean through Scotland.
⚠️ Previous URL (no longer accessible): https://iknowmyownheart.co.uk
Special thank you to Steph Gallaway for collecting initial references.