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George Henry Bunting Collection

The George Henry Bunting Library is a collection of published diaries named in honour of George Henry Bunting (1925-2011), who assiduously and carefully amassed the collection over many years, and whose family donated it to Bishopsgate Library in 2014. It comprises one of the largest collections of published diaries in the UK, numbering over 1,150 volumes.

This amazing collection reveals the private thoughts and day-to-day lives of persons living and dead, from all parts of the UK and beyond. Novelists and painters, politicians and journalists, actors and architects, soldiers of both World Wars, 17th-century gentlemen farmers and ambassadors’ wives setting sail for 19th-century Australia – a wealth of ‘ordinary’  and extraordinary voices make themselves heard, often for the first and only time, in these published works.

Spanning several hundred years, from the 1600s to the late 20th century, these diaries offer an invaluable insight into the daily triumphs and struggles, dreams, relationships and everyday encounters of a startling variety of personages and personalities.

The collection includes self-published diaries and those brought out in several volumes by major publishers, as well as anthologies which bring together, under careful editorship, extracts from the diaries of several people, covering in one volume a myriad of experiences from many different places and times. Also included is a selection of fictional accounts, such as the complete set of Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole diaries and Margaret Forster’s acclaimed 2003 novel, Diary of an Ordinary Woman.

The collection’s diversity and scope are truly impressive: through these volumes we can stand witness alongside those taking part in history’s great events, and peek into lives of quiet domesticity in town and country.

The cataloguing of the Bunting collection is now complete and items can be searched on our online catalogue