Memorable Days: The Emilie Davis Diaries commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War by sharing the remarkable diaries kept by an African American woman in Philadelphia from 1863 to 1865. Through this Web site, which includes annotated transcriptions of the diaries and scans of the original pages, readers can experience the events in Emilie Davis’s life in real time. Going back 150 years to October-November 1863, for example, readers learn that Davis’s brother, Alfred, enlisted in the U.S. Navy just days before his wife, Mary, died of consumption. Readers can navigate the Web site by date or by keyword. Topics include the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle of Gettysburg and the Gettysburg Address, and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
The Web site is a project of Villanova University and its Falvey Memorial Library, with support from the History Department, the Communication Department, and the Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning. The diaries are in the collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and are accessible in its Digital Library. They were scanned as part of The People’s Contest: A Civil War Era Digital Archiving Project, a project of Pennsylvania State University Libraries and the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center.