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The William Steinway Diary, 1861-1896

The William Steinway Diary Project & Web Site

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is engaged in a long-term project to create the first publicly accessible, annotated online edition of William Steinway’s Diary. When the project is completed, more than 30,000 interlinked annotations— one for every three words in the Diary—will provide crucial context for understanding William’s sometimes obscure Diary entries. Annotations will be based upon more than 25,000 hours of research conducted by upwards of 100 highly qualified volunteers, including William’s grandson, Henry Ziegler Steinway, a central part of the Diary Project until his death in 2008. The Diary Project is one of the Smithsonian’s largest and longest-running volunteer research efforts.
 
The first installation of the Diary Web site debuts with this exhibition. Visitors to http://americanhistory.si.edu/steinwaydiary are invited to read and search a complete transcription of all 2,500 pages of the Diary alongside high-resolution scans of each handwritten page. Contextual images from Steinway family archives further elucidate the material, as do essays on William, Steinway & Sons, and the Diary Project.

Henry Ziegler Steinway speaking about his grandfather’s diary (in foreground), during the 1996 ceremony celebrating the Diary’s donation to the Museum’s Archives Center

Henry Ziegler Steinway speaking about his grandfather’s diary (in foreground), during the 1996 ceremony celebrating the Diary’s donation to the Museum’s Archives Center

Researchers Dick Anderson and John Bowen reviewing annotation assignments at a monthly Diary Project meeting

Researchers Dick Anderson and John Bowen reviewing annotation assignments at a monthly Diary Project meeting


 
Diary Project volunteer researchers and staff, March 2010

Diary Project volunteer researchers and staff, March 2010
Top row: Ken Bailey, Larry Herman, Susan Welch, Anna Karvellas, John McClenahen, Charley Donnelly, John Bowen, Dena Adams, Ken Maniha, Jan Benson.
Bottom row: Carol Sue Fromboluti, Valerie Estes, Milton Lum, Edwin M. Good, Cynthia Adams Hoover, Dick Anderson, Karen Johnson, Kathy Morisse, Greg Morris, Heidi Varblow, Linda Smith

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