Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Rose and Martha Dysart Diaries MS 24
MS 24  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Preferred Citation
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Processing Information
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Related Archival Materials

  • Title: Rose and Martha Dysart Diaries
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 24
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.25 Linear feet (1 box)
    Date (inclusive): 1909-1918
    Abstract: This collection contains five diaries written by Rose Dysart and five diaries written by her sister Martha Dysart Allen in the early 1900s.
    creator: Allen, Martha Dysart
    creator: Dysart, Rose

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    The Dysart family was originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Jane Dysart had six children, including Rose Dysart, Martha Dysart Allen (nickname Mattie), Gilbert Dysart (nickname Gil), and Tom Dysart. Gilbert had two daughters, Martha and Helen. Rose lived in Enid, Oklahoma with Gil, Tom, Helen, and Martha before moving to Coronado, California in 1913. In Coronado she lived with Jane, Mattie, and Helen. Martha remained in Oklahoma with her father, Gil.
    The women lived at 616 B. Avenue for the rest of their lives. Rose died in December 1917. She appears never to have married. Helen Dysart worked as a cataloger and later supervisor of the literature and languages section at the San Diego Public Library. She was hired in 1916 by Althea Warren and worked there till her retirement in 1960. From 1960 till 1970 she worked part-time in the rare book collection of the Wagenheim Room. Helen died February 26, 1972, and had no surviving relatives.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains five diaries written by Rose Dysart and five diaries written by her sister Martha Dysart Allen. Rose’s diaries cover January 1, 1909 through December 31, 1916. The diaries begin in Oklahoma and the family moves to Coronado in 1913. Rose primarily describes her daily chores, errands, and recreational activities with neighbors and family. Other topics include the St. Louis Centennial, the sinking of the Titanic, early World War I news, the 1916 San Diego floods, conflicts with Pancho Villa in Mexico, and frequent trips to Tent City and the Panama-California Exposition. Martha’s diaries cover January 1, 1918 through December 17, 1918. Martha is mostly confined to the home, taking care of her ailing mother, Jane, after the death of Rose. She primarily describes her daily chores and the occasional recreational activity with neighbors and family.


    This collection is arranged into two series:
    Series I: Rose Dysart Diaries;
    Series II: Martha Dysart Allen Diaries.
    Diaries are arranged chronologically within each series.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Rose Dysart Diary One: The front cover is coming loose from the binding. Leather is cracked.
    Rose Dysart Diary Two: Some pages near end of diary loose from binding.
    Rose Dysart Diary Four: A large piece of the cover has broken off (still with book).

    Preferred Citation

    Rose and Martha Dysart Diaries, MS 24, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Samantha Mills in July 2013.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Clara Breed, 5/14/80

    Related Archival Materials

    PA 60 Martha ‘Mattay’ Dysart Family Photograph Album, 1900-1915
    PA 61 Helen Dysart Photograph Album, 1944-1948
    PA 91 Helen Dysart Photograph Album, 1950-1951

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Dysart, Helen
    Panama-California Exposition (1915 : San Diego, Calif.).
    Coronado (Calif.)
    Domestic Life
    Enid (Okla.)
    Flood damage
    Floods -- California
    San Diego (Calif.)
    St. Louis (Mo.)
    St. Louis Centennial
    Tent City (Coronado, Calif.)
    Titanic (Steamship)--Press coverage
    World War, 1914-1918