Theo Brown Diaries

Nestable Collection Public

The Theo Brown diaries begin in 1893 and end in 1971. There are two diaries before 1911: 1893 and 1897 (the year Theo graduated from Worcester High School and entered Worcester Polytechnic Institute). From 1911 through early 1971 there is a diary for every year, and an entry for almost every day. The early diaries are much smaller in size (approximately 6 ½” X 4”). The later ones, starting in 1929, are larger (approximately 8 ½” X 5 ½”) and are made up of blank pages rather than lined, dated ones.

The diaries record Theo’s thoughts and interests, both personal and professional. From the earliest ones, he included sketches he had drawn, and photographs. Later he added news clippings and various other items. He apparently was a serious stamp collector, and many of the diaries contain stamps. During his years as an agricultural engineer, many of the entries focus on work-related issues and drawings of inventions (some authenticated in the diaries by witnesses). After his retirement, much more of the focus is on family, and he transcribed many letters from family and friends into his diaries. His artistic talent and interest are evident throughout the diaries, from farm machine sketches to drawings of flowers and plants to people, and his careful copying of news headlines.

Content Warning:
WPI Archives and Special Collections acknowledges that historical records may contain harmful language that reflects attitudes and biases of their time. WPI Archives and Collections does not alter, edit, or modify original records or original captions, as they are part of the historical record. Descriptions of records are not an endorsement of the language it contains.

The WPI Archives and Special Collections department is in the process of enhancing and migrating the Theo Brown Diary Collection from to the Digital WPI Repository. To access all of the diaries in the collection, please visit the website: (3/2022)

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  Title Date Added Visibility
  2022-02-14 Public
  2021-12-21 Public

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