I enjoy explaining my job by saying that I read other people’s diaries for a living. Today I was working on a catalog record for Rev. Thomas Robbins’ diary (though, perhaps, autobiography would be more appropriate). Robbins was born in Norfolk, Connecticut in 1777. Among other things, he became a minister, collected a huge library, and would eventually become the first librarian of the Connecticut Historical Society.

About the time he turned 20, Robbins recorded his autobiographical diary. He wrote a short paragraph for each year.¬† My favorite was 1786, the year Robbins turned nine. “In May I accidentally fired a gun in the meetinghouse & broke a window very bad.”

Accidentally?? I just have to laugh. How do you accidentally fire a gun…in a church?!