Henry Smals Diaries
Scope and Content
The Henry Smals Papers, 1871-1891, consist of three boxes containing eighteen volumes of diaries written by Henry Smals of Bridgewater, Virginia. The topics of diary entries are brief outlining day-to-day activities. There are mentions of acquaintances that are ill, various business transactions conducted in town, the movement of livestock, and hay through town, ongoing town projects, church activities, marriages, births, deaths, and other details of town life. The activities of "colored people" are occasionally noted. Throughout the diaries, Smals made small drawings of people and animals and added illustrations clipped from newspapers. A folder, located in Box 3, contains printed copies of a partial index and a list of highlights for most volumes as well as an ad for "Henry Smals, Fashionable Barber! Main Street, Bridgewater, Va."
- Creation: 1871-1891
- Smals, Henry, 1810-1892 (Person)
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Henry Smals (1810-1892) is listed in the 1850 Rockingham County Census as a shoemaker with real estate value of $1,000 with a wife, Mary, and six children. There is an entry for Henry Smalts in the 1860 census and for Henry Smalls in the 1870 census that gives additional household details. He may also have been a barber sometime during the 1880s (ses Box 3, Folder 4). His surname appears as a variation of Smalz and Smaltz as well.
0.7 cubic feet (3 boxes)
Language of Materials
The Henry Smals Diaries, 1871-1891, consist of three boxes containing eighteen volumes of diaries written by Henry Smals of Bridgewater, Virginia. The topics of diary entries are brief outlining day-to-day activities. A folder, located in Box 3, contains a partial index and a list of highlights for most volumes as well as an ad for "Henry Smals, Fashionable Barber! Main Street, Bridgewater, Va."
The diaries are arranged chronologically where possible, but due to variations in size are physically housed as follows in the Contents List. Volume 14 is filed in a separate container.
The collection of diaries was first presented to George M. Hanger by Smals' grandson, Gal Miller, in 1910. The diaries were then given to George P. Furry in 1920, Edwina Furry in 1970, and Dorothy Merriefield in 1983.
The collection is on deposit from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society.
- United States Census Office, 7th census. 1850 U.S. Census, Rockingham County, Virginia. Wichita, Ks.: S-K Publications, 1987.
The diaries appear to have been rebound, perhaps several times, and some volumes have sections in them that are not in chronological order. In some places the ink has faded to illegibility. In the fall of 2002 and 2003, Peggy Dillard and Ken Hinkle respectively created partial indices for the Smals diaries. The entries transcribed as part of these partial indices are included under each diary's scope and content note.
In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in the spring of 2017. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 2059.
Genre / Form
- Bridgewater (Va.) -- Economic customs -- 19th century
- Bridgewater (Va.) -- History -- 19th century
- Bridgewater (Va.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century
- Rockingham County (Va.) -- History -- 19th century
- Virginia -- History, Local -- Genealogy
- A Guide to the Henry Smals Diaries, 1871-1891
- Chris Bolgiano, Tiffany Cole
- October 1990, February 2010
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description