Contents and Arrangement

Daisy Spaight Diary, 1897

1 folder

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Content Description

Manuscript diary comprised of 193 pages (measuring 6.75 x 8") in the single hand of fifteen year old Daisy Spaight (1882-1955), written in Hannover, Germany in 1897. The diary contains a majority of entries in English, several in German, and one in Chinese; it also contains three pages of taped-in photos and ephemera, five handwritten samples of musical notation and two original sketches. Bound in black cloth over boards with tape label to front board.

The diary begins: "If by chance I should lose this book / And you by chance should find it - / Remember Daisy is my name / And Spaight comes behind it. / Black is the raven / Black is the rook / But blacker still is the wicked cow / Who steals this book."

Spaight describes her friends and acquaintances, music and German lessons, and how she spends her days. She records attending performances of Goethe and Chopin and makes reading lists. She pays close attention to her attire, noting "in the evening I had on my new red dress - it looked lovely" (30 January), and she reports on shopping trips: "Went out with Fraulein alone and bought gloves" (1 February). Spaight slips into and out of English in her entries, often quoting others in German. She also notes which young men are attractive, dress well, speak well, or pay her compliments.

Sometimes Spaight writes, in stage-play form, the conversations she's had with others. She also documents the fashion choices of chic women she admires, and she records praise she receives: "They all thought the photo of myself quite nice" (28 February) and "I was congratulated several times for dancing" (10 March).


Arranged alphabetically by the name of the creator or by the date of acquisition.

Collection History


Purchased from Whitmore Rare Books in 2022 (AM 2024-024).


No material was separated during processing.

Processing Information

Item processed by Lauren C. Williams in October 2023, incorporating some description provided by the dealer.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Daisy Spaight Diary; General Manuscripts Miscellaneous Collection, C0140, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (mss): Box B-002045

Find More

Existence and Location of Copies

Parts of this collection are available on microfilm, cataloged separately as RCPXM-7497696.

Subject Terms:
Teenagers -- Teenage girls -- 19th century
Genre Terms:
American diaries -- 19th century.
Germany -- Description and travel -- 19th century.