Monday, March 26, 2007

Martha Ballard's Diary

I ran across this site, Martha Ballard's Diary, seven years ago and was amazed by it. I included it in all my primary source workshops. There is a PBS documentary about the same topic. I was reminded of the site by a listing on Blue Web'n listserv-- be sure to check out the diary site as well as the documentary.

American Experience: A Midwife's Tale (PBS)

Description: In 1785 Martha Ballard began the diary that she would keep for the next 27 years, until her death. At a time when fewer than half the women in America were literate, Ballard faithfully recorded the weather, her daily household tasks, her midwifery duties, and countless incidents that reveal the turmoil of a new nation. Historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich discusses the importance of Martha Ballard's diary and what it reveals about 17th century America and women's roles at that time. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, "A Midwife's Tale," Teaching Activities may be adapted in the absence of the for-fee film.