‘Diary of Gertrude Bell, 1911.’

Add MS 45158 A

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The record is made up of 1 volume (33 folios). It was created in 9 Feb 1911-18 Apr 1911. It was written in English and Arabic. The original is part of the British Library: Western Manuscripts.

About this record


The first of two oblong duodecimo volumes containing abbreviated notes recorded by Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell, during the course of a journey through Syria, Turkey and Iraq, from Damascus to Aleppo via Baghdad. The volume covers the period 9 February to 18 April 1911, covering Bell’s departure from Damascus to the vicinity of Dara, Turkey. The notes record: places passed or visited; times of arrival and departure; temperature and atmospheric pressure readings; some description of the topographic character of the places passed through; and a number Arabic aphorisms and inscriptions.

The volume also includes:

  • descriptions of architecture and mosaics in Damascus, including Malik ez Zahir [Az-Zahiriyah library] (ff 1-3)
  • a plan of an unnamed and unidentified building (f 14v)
  • five signatures, belonging to the German archaeologists Walter Andrae, Conrad Preusser, Walter Bachmann, Paul Maresch, and Julius Jordan (f 23)
  • two profiles, with measurements indicated, of gate mouldings at Dara (f 32)
Extent and format
1 volume (33 folios)
Physical characteristics

Foliation: the main foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with i, and terminates at the inside back cover with 33; these numbers are written in pencil, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.

The file has two foliation anomalies f 25A, and f 32A.

Written in
English and Arabic in Latin and Arabic script
Archival file

Archive information for this record

Access & Reference

Original held at
British Library: Western Manuscripts
Access conditions


Archive reference
Add MS 45158 A

History of this record

9 Feb 1911-18 Apr 1911 (CE, Gregorian)

Related material

Related primary sources
For accounts of Bell’s 1911 journey, see

The Letters of Gertrude Bell

, ed. Lady Bell, i, 1927, pp. 266-306, M. R. Ridley,

Gertrude Bell

, 1941, pp. 102-118, and Josephine Kamm,

Daughter of the Desert

, 1956, pp. 119-120.

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‘Diary of Gertrude Bell, 1911.’, British Library: Western Manuscripts, Add MS 45158 A, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100000001250.0x000176> [accessed 21 November 2019]

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