Presented by the Library of Congress, this online archive and exhibit contains 49 diaries of pioneers who made their way westward across America to Utah, Montana, and the Pacific from 1847 to 1869. Culled from materials held by the Lee Library at Brigham Young University and the Utah Academic Library Consortium, these diaries are an excellent primary source for reading about and investigating the day-to-day experiences of individuals and families making their way west in the middle of the 19th century. The source materials for the collection also include published guides for overland emigrants, photographs of trail locations, and maps. Visitors to the site can browse these materials by subject, author, trail name, title, and category. The site is rounded out with a collection of related thematic essays and several interactive thematic maps showing the different landmarks, cities, and rivers in the regions surrounding the major overland routes. The site provides a good introduction to understanding the difficulties and everyday realities of overland travel during the period, and may also serve as an educational tool for students looking for primary source documents.


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