Esther McCoy’s Sophomore Days diary, Book 3, 1919

About the Project

Esther McCoy (1904-1989) is remembered best for her pioneering work as an architectural historian, critic, and proponent of Southern California modern architecture of the early to midtwentieth century. Born in Arkansas in 1904, Esther McCoy grew up in Kansas and attended various schools in the Midwest. McCoy’s papers document her career as well as her family and personal life. In her "Sophomore Days" diaries, dating from 1919 when McCoy was 15, McCoy writes about school, church, and activities with friends. Found within the pages are notes passed between friends, scraps of fabric from sewing designs, programs for school and church activities, and fortune telling games very similar to the MASH game still played by girls today, giving insight into what life was like for a teenager in the Midwest in the late 1910s. Help transcribe her diary as part of the Smithsonian's #BecauseOfHerStory campaign to share and celebrate the diverse stories of American girlhood.

Coordination of this and other girlhood history projects in the Transcription Center (including selection, digitization, cataloging, outreach, and educational resources) was funded by the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative. Click here to learn more.

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