Item T-PIN - Diary of Mary Pinkerton

Identity area

Reference code

GB 249 T-PIN


Diary of Mary Pinkerton


  • 11 July - 15 September 1903 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 leatherbound notebook (not paginated) + typed transcript (80pp.)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Mary Pinkerton was born and brought up in Glasgow, where she lived at 17 Prince Edward Street, Crosshill, and was a lifelong member of Hutchesontown United Presbyterian Church. She was the niece of the famous private detective, Allan Pinkerton (1819-1884), who started out as a cooper in the Gorbals, worked his passage to America in the 1840s, and there estabished the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. In July 1903, Mary made her first trip to America, where she visited several friends in and around New York, renewed her acquaintance with Allan Pinkerton's elder son, William (1846-1923), and also met his younger son, Robert (1848-1907) for the first time. She kept a detailed record of this nine-week holiday in a small, leatherbound notebook. Mary never married, and died in Glasgow Royal Infirmary at the age of 57, leaving an estate of £936 19s 5d.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Mary's holiday diary, together with her Sabbath School and Bible Class prize books and six other volumes that had been presented to her by friends and relatives, remained in her family's possession until October 2009, when they were deposited with Strathclyde University Archives on long-term loan.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Detailed diary of a trip made by Mary Pinkerton to America; typed transcript of diary (transcribed by Anne Cameron, June 2010). Enclosed in the manuscript diary are several loose additional diary pages; a poem entitled 'Books of the Bible'; a newspaper clipping intimating the death of Mary Pinkerton on 20 December [1912]; and a newspaper clipping intimating the death of Mary Cochran, relict of James Pinkerton [undated].

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


None expected

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Language of material

  • English

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Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

The Pinkerton Collection of eight books inscribed to/owned by Mary Pinkerton (Andersonian Library, University of Strathclyde)

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