Folklorist | Writer | Artist

The Secret Diary of Bloomsbury

Everyone has a secret, a story they've never told anyone. What's yours?

Follow a trail through Bloomsbury and track down diaries hidden in bookshops, cafés, pubs and leafy squares. Each diary invites you to contribute a different type of story or secret - perhaps a London memory you've never shared, a confession from the past, or a message for a significant figure in your life.

Originally devised by Elizabeth Dearnley and curator and researcher Michael Eades for the Bloomsbury Festival 2017, The Secret Diary of Bloomsbury allowed festivalgoers to add to a collaborative collage of stories reflecting those passing through the area's streets and public spaces. The project draws on Elizabeth's interest in story-mapping and the relationship between narrative and place, and Michael's research into the cultural contexts of Bloomsbury, and builds on their previous story-collecting work in Bloomsbury and Walthamstow.

Following the Bloomsbury Festival, diaries were left in place in various locations for passers-by to find. Five years later, there are still a few out there - take a look in Russell Square next time you're passing through!

Read more about the diaries in the i newspaper here, and you can also hear Elizabeth and Michael chatting about the project on the Mechanics Institute Review podcast here. And the diaries are also on Twitter @BloomsSecret - share your own stories with #bloomsburysecret.