Explore the Diary Viewer

From the Diary Viewer page, you can choose to engage with a collection of Joseph Svoboda’s diaries. All together, these diaries record Joseph’s actions in Iraq between 1897 and 1899. Within each diary, you will be able to view scans of the original handwritten manuscripts and our easy-to-read digitized transcriptions.


Explore the Timeline

The Events Timeline describes the major happenings of Joseph Svoboda’s 47th handwritten diary which spans from February 1897 to June of the following year. The events of the diary are categorized according to their subject, including family events, international affairs, and pandemics.


The Svoboda Family

The Svoboda family’s life in Ottoman Iraq began with Joseph’s parents, Anton Svoboda and Euphemie Muradjian. Joseph and his wife Eliza continue the heritage of this Austro-Hungarian Christian family living in Baghdad. Joseph’s son Alexander also participates with the family’s business of river trade. Visit “History of the Svoboda Family” to learn more.


About the Project

The Svoboda Diaries Project began in 2006 as a project under the umbrella of the Ottoman Texts Archive Project (OTAP). Throughout the project’s history, we have focused on the digitization of the journals of two members of the Svoboda family, Joseph Svoboda and his son Alexander. The Joseph Mathia Svoboda diaries capture over 40 years of trade on the Tigris, life, politics, and the landscape of Ottoman Iraq through the perspective of a British steamship purser with a rich family history and local connections. Read more here.

New Features

  • The image gallery provides visual context for the Svoboda diaries through images directly taken during the time period.
  • Our diary viewer now displays blurbs sharing interesting information about people mentioned in the text.
  • Our revised Current and Future Plans page highlights current projects, future goals, and aspirations.

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