Social Media in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries. Friendships, Feelings and Ambitions in the Albums of Aristocratic Women in Belgium

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Abstract

In this article, I investigate the correlation between albums as collectors of memory and records of friendships on the one hand and the construction of the album-maker’s identity on the other hand. A focus on the contents and the function of albums in combination with a survey of archival sources and recent literature reveals how this social medium served the albums’ makers from their youth onwards. In particular I concentrate on how friendships forged for life were visualized during adolescence, how feelings were channelled through drawings and watercolours, and how personal ambitions were expressed on the album pages. In addition, I examine how albums were used by the album makers’ descendants, who continued adding new layers of meaning. In my research, I make use of albums produced by aristocratic women in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, most of them preserved in private collections in Belgium.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRevue Belge d'Archeologie et d'Histoire de l'Art
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Oct 2021

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