Journaling Through Time

This is an Ambrotype photograph of Mary Cowgill Corbit Warner (1848-1923), c. 1860. As a child Mary lived in the small town of Odessa. She was a descendant of both William Corbit and David Wilson, the original owners of the two historic museum houses now in the Historic Odessa Foundation’s collection. She was known for preserving and collecting family heirlooms, traveling the world, and collecting souvenir spoons. Mary wanted future generations to know about her family and events of her generation.

The Assignment

Write a personalized journal that documents “what happened today.” This is an old-fashioned activity that creates memories for the writer and records what occurred on a specific day.  Journaling is one of the most effective and engaging ways for individuals to develop a love of writing. This type of writing also offers room for creativity and self-expression. Individuals who keep regular journals tend to be more in touch with their feelings and more comfortable expressing their opinions. Try to write with great detail so that a descendant one hundred years from now in 2120 might understand your thoughts and experiences. Simply use an unused school notebook or a laptop/computer to record your reflections. Some prompts for writing might include:

  • What have you been doing to keep busy each day while you are off of school and staying at home? What might you rather be doing? How are others in your house staying busy?
  • Who have you been keeping in contact with and through which social platforms are you using? What are your friends, neighbors, and relatives been doing at home?
  • What is happening in your town, state, country, or world that you would want a descendant to know about in the future?

Download the activity here

PDF icon Journaling Through Time

From Our Collection

Slant Lid Desk
Creator: William Savery (c. 1722-1787) 
Origin: Philadelphia, 1770-1780
Medium: Walnut, white cedar, tulip poplar
William Savery labeled drawer