Skip to Main Content

Course & Subject Guides

James Boswell, Biographer and Diarist, Fall 2016 @ Archives & Special Collections: The Cases

The Special Collections Department at the University of Pittsburgh presents an exhibition of the life of James Boswell, the writer who revolutionized the genre of biography and the broader literary tradition.

A timeline of significant events in Boswell's life, including his marriage, the publication of 'Life of Johnson,' and the death of his father.

Exhibition Content

James Boswell, Biographer and Diarist consists of thirteen cases, the first ten of which are embedded exhibit cases in the Special Collections Reading Room, and the last three are flat cases, two in the Reading Room and one outside the Reading Room.

I- Who is James Boswell?
II- London Journal
III- The Holland Journal
IV- Germany and Switzerland
V- Corsica
VI- Scotland and the Hebrides
VII- Caricature
VIII- Published Works
IX- Life of Johnson
X- Papers and Biography
XI- Dictionary of the English Language
XII- First Editions
XIII- The Collector and Donor of the Smith-Boswell Collection

A quote from Steven Brocklehurst's "James Boswell: The Man Who Re-Invented Biography," reading as follows: "There are other diarists and memoirists at the time but they are nothing like this. Nothing like that vividness, the immediacy, the sense of detail."