Los Angeles, CA–If you’ve ever wanted to see the actual handwriting of famed explorer Dr. David Livingstone, your wish is about to come true, thanks to the University of California-Los Angeles Digital Library Program. The library published the restored version of Livingstone’s 1871 diary, in which he writes of witnessing a massacre of 400 women by slave traders.
Dr. David Livingstone had been presumed dead when he hadn’t been heard from for several years. Then New York Herald reporter Henry M. Stanley found him and learned of the massacre. The reports led to the end of Britain’s East Africa slave trade.
The diary was nearly illegible, as Livingstone had run out of paper and ink near the end of his journeys, resorting to writing on old newspapers and using homemade ink. A team of scholars and researchers used enhanced digital imaging to bring the handwriting to the fore, and you can now see this version, along with text transcriptions. The online diary is a free resource that was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the British Academy.
(Thanks to the College & Research Libraries News for tipping me off to this amazing site.)