Diary PNG Transparent Images

Submitted by on Jun 25, 2021

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A diary is a record (initially in handwritten style) that contains discrete entries grouped by the date that detail what happened during a day or other time. A personal journal may have a person’s experiences, ideas, or feelings, but not current events not directly experienced by the writer. A diarist is someone who keeps a journal. Many parts of human civilization, including government records (e.g., Hansard), corporate ledgers, and military records, rely on diaries kept for institutional purposes. The term can also refer to a preprinted journal format in British English.

Today, the word is most commonly used to refer to personal diaries intended to be kept secret or circulated only among friends or family. Although the terms “journal” and “diary” are often interchanged, a diary usually contains (or aims to have) daily entries, whereas journal-writing might be less frequent.

Although a diary might give information for a memoir, autobiography, or biography, it is usually written for its personal use rather than for publication. In recent years, internal evidence has emerged that certain diaries (e.g., those of Ned Rorem, Alan Clark, Tony Benn, or Simon Gray) were written with the aim of eventual publication, self-vindication (pre-or postmortem), or simply for profit.

By extension, the term ‘diary’ can apply to a printed version of a written diary and various types of journals, such as electronic versions (e.g., blogs).


The term ‘diary’ originates from the Latin diarium, which means ‘to keep a diary’ (“daily allowance,” from dies, “day”). The term ‘journal’ is derived from the same root (diurnus, “of the day”) via the Old French jurnal (jour is the current French word for “day”).

In Ben Jonson’s play, Volpone in 1605, the word ‘diary’ was first used to refer to a book in which a daily record was kept.

The Journal of Merer, an ancient Egyptian logbook whose author documented the shipment of limestone from Tura to Giza, possibly to clad the exterior of the Great Pyramid, is the first known book that resembles a diary. Although the first recorded diaries originate from Middle Eastern and East Asian civilizations, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ book To Myself (v), commonly known as the Meditations, written in Greek in the second part of the second century AD, already has many features of a diary. Some features of this form of writing may be found in Japanese court lady pillowbooks and Asian trip diaries; however, they seldom consist entirely of daily entries.

Arabic diaries have been written in the medieval Near East from before the 10th century. Ibn Banna’s journal from the 11th century is the first surviving diary that most closely resembles the modern diary. His journal is the oldest known to be organized by date (ta’rikh in Arabic), which is quite similar to current diaries.

Daily records of medieval mystics, primarily preoccupied with internal feelings and outward manifestations, are forerunners of the diary in the contemporary sense.

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