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Digital Initiatives: T. E. McMillan Diaries Collection

Digital Initiatives department at the North Dakota State Library

McMillan Diaries collage

T. E. McMillan Diaries Collection

T. E. McMillan Diaries is a collection of diaries written from 1888 to 1947 about the life of a North Dakota homesteader and farmer. The collection also includes ephemera (receipts, clippings, correspondence, etc.) that were found within the various diary volumes.

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About the Collection

T. E. (Thomas E.) McMillan was born in 1867. He immigrated to Barnes County, North Dakota, from Canada in the 1890s. In 1888, when he was 21 years old, McMillan began keeping a journal. He wrote on the day-to-day activities of his life. He also wrote on topics like, the weather, farming, world events, happenings of his family, and the community. He was a man of few words, but his journal entries provide a perspective on what it was like living during a formative time. McMillan wrote 19 volumes of journals over his lifetime. He kept writing up until his death in 1947.

Note on this collection:

The ND State Library is currently undergoing a transcription project for this collection. Because the diaries are handwritten, modern technologies cannot automatically detect the text and embed it. Instead, this process has to be done the old fashioned way: reading the diaries and manually typing out the text. Once the text for each page of a diary is typed, it is copied and inserted into the uploaded record.

Several diaries have been completed and are now full-text searchable. However, this is an ongoing project, so not all of the diaries have been completed.

McMillan Diaries

19 volumes of journals written by T. E. McMillan from 1888 to 1947.

McMillan Ephemera

Items found within the various diary volumes (receipts, clippings, correspondence, etc.).

Collection Guides

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Many of these resources and programs are funded under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.