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The Bidwell Diaries: Volume 2, Annie K. Bidwell
Transcription of Annie K. Bidwell's diaries from 1888-1896, 1899-1911. Stored on a searchable CD-ROM.

"John and Annie Bidwell's Diaries are now available on CD-ROM. Bidwell came to California in 1841 with the Bidwell-Bartleson Party. He was one of the earliest Argonauts to find gold on the Feather River at what became known a Bidwell's Bar. Making his initial fortune there he eventually founded a ranch on the site of what would become Chico. He later was a U.S. Senator from California and an unsuccessful candidate for President.

"Bidwell started keeping a diary in 1864 and, for the most part, wrote daily until his death in 1901. However for reasons unknown, he wrote little in the year 1866. His wife, Annie, actually finished his diary for the year 1901. She had been keeping a diary since 1882, although much more intermittently until 1911. Several years are missing and in some years she wrote few entries, often appending them to the end of another year. Both diaries chronicle people, places and events in Butte County, California, and to some degree the national scene. Indeed, these diaries are a window into Butte County during the time in which they were written.

"These CDs provide information to historians that was only available on a limited basis. Heretofore, historical researchers had to visit the California State Library in Sacramento to read the originals of John and Annie Bidwells' diaries or travel to the Bidwell Mansion Visitors Center in Chico where bound, although not entirely complete, copies are held.

"Lois McDonald, Ridge historian and former editor of Tales of the Paradise Ridge, spearheaded the effort to publish these valuable research tools. In typed form, John Bidwell's diaries are about 2000 pages long and Annie's nearly 1200 pages. The number of pages in the much smaller, original diaries is uncounted. Initial transcribing of the diaries on was done under a Federal Green Thumb grant. Unfortunately, during transcription language and punctuation were 'cleaned up' to some degree. To insure that the diaries were in as original form as possible, Lois went back to the originals in the State Library and restored the Bidwells' language and style of writing, editing only where clarity was involved. She also annotated the diaries to help historians identify many of the characters. Larry Jackson at Heidelberg Graphics of Chico then digitized Lois' work to CD-ROMs.

"CD-ROMs of both John and Annie Bidwells' diaries are available at the Bidwell Mansion Visitors Center. The price is $24.95 for each in either Windows or Mac format." --Tales of the Paradise Ridge

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