A page from the dress diary of mrs Anne Sykes; some printed cottons that belonged to Mercy Taylor.

In "The Dress Diary of Mrs Anne Sykes" published in 2023, the author and dress historian Kate Strasdin writes about a nineteenth century scrapbook with a collection of annotated fabric swatches. She was given the book in 2016 by a lady who used to work in the London theatre world. A colleague of hers had found the book on a Camden market stall in the 1960's. After thoroughly researching the book that had come in her possesion Strasdin found the maker of the scrapbook; a certain Anne Sykes from Preston in Lancashire. The first page of the scrapbook shows the fabrics that were worn on the wedding of Anne and Adam Sykes, which took place on 20 September 1838 in Tyldesley. In the scrapbook Anne shows her collection of fabric swatches, belonging to different family members and friends. In "The Dress Diary of Mrs Anne Sykes" Strasdin describes the social and cultural circumstances of middle class England in mid nineteenth century northern England using the life of Anne and her fabric swatches as a starting point.
Anne Sykes' scrapbook is a rare survival, but there are other "dress diaries". One of the more famous and certainly older ones is an album with textile samples and fashion plates, compiled by Barbara Johnson (England 1746-1823) in the possession of the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Brooklyn Museum has two nineteenth century American examples. The first being the dress diary of Ida Jackson (1855-1927). This scrapbook is similar to the one that Barbara Johnson compiled in the 18th century in that it also shows fashion plates. The second diary has not been made digitally available by the Brooklyn Museum, but is according to their online collection a: "Scrapbook of swatches, with descriptions, from dresses worn by Mrs. Ranney from 1889 to 1960". The final interesting example is the sewing diary of Ann Eliza Cunningham that is in the collection of the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts. When Cunningham (Chelsea Massachusetts 1835-1913) was middle-aged she compiled a sewing diary that included scraps of dresses she wore and associated with different events in her life. Elizabeth DellaBadia has written a thorough paper on Cunningham's diary titles "Mirror of Culture: the Study of a Nineteenth-century Sewing Diary". 
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any Dutch or Belgian examples of nineteenth century dress diaries. I'm sure they exist, just not online (yet) in the collections of the Textielmuseum in Tilburg or the Museumfabriek in Enschede. 

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