Esther Popel Shaw diary

Diary, 1914-1915 (Box 1, folder 1)
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This collection consists primarily of the diary of Esther Popel Shaw (Class of 1919), the first African American woman to graduate from Dickinson College.  Esther kept this diary between the conclusion of her junior year in high school on June 10, 1914 and April 30, 1915 of her senior year.  The diary entries document her daily activities, particularly her interactions with family, friends, and neighbors. Esther routinely listed the names of the individuals she met each day and the people with whom she corresponded.  She also included accounts of her school days, the books she was reading, the lectures and social events she attended, and her membership in a basketball team named the Philanders.  It was during this time that Esther self-published her first collection of poetry, titled Thoughtless Thinks by a Thinkless Thoughter, which she sold to establish a college fund.  The diary traces the evolution of this publication, which was printed on February 26, 1915.  A transcription of this diary is housed with this collection. 

In addition to the diary, this collection includes a newspaper clipping from the July 20, 1954 Baltimore Afro-American newspaper that features a profile of Esther’s retirement activities. 

Note:  A digital copy of this diary is available by following this COLLECTION LINK.

Time Period: 
MC 2013.4