The Papers of the White Family

Winifred White

Transcribing the 1897 diary of a London school teacher, Winifred White, has been almost like taking a trip back into the past, providing a fascinating glimpse into day-to-day life in late-Victorian England. 1st January, 1897 sees Winifred a virtual prisoner in her own home due to having had all her remaining top teeth removed so that false ones could be fitted, something that was apparently a very common practice at the time and, indeed, for a good many years after.

Fortunately our toothless heroine does get her new ‘pegs’, as she likes to call them and goes on to lead a full and active life and writing some intriguing diary entries such as taking part in the celebrations for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, involvement with the Victorian Era Exhibition and a cycling holiday in Anglesey where her elder sister’s hat goes up in flames (fortunately she wasn’t hurt!).

Winifred’s two surviving sisters were also teachers and the White sisters’ interest in music and performing arts informed their teaching and their views on education. Winifred was also an advocate of outdoor education, later establishing her own Garden School. The Papers of the White Family, which are held by the Archives, contain several diaries and notebooks recording some of their interests and activities, as well as a multitude of photographs.

Archive Collections LibGuide: http://libguides.ioe.ac.uk/content.php?pid=348872

Catalogue http://archive.ioe.ac.uk/DServe?

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