Personal and business journals and notebooks of Joseph Dixon (fl 1809-1832), mercer and haberdasher of Birmingham.
Joseph Dixon had a shop in Great Hampton Street, Birmingham, and these volumes reveal all manner of information relating to his employment and business interests, and about his family and personal life. Several of the journals serve as both personal and business travel diaries. The earliest notebook, for example, starts as a diary of a visit to Shrewsbury and North Wales in 1811; another begins with an account of a journey to Cornwall and his subsequent itinerary there in 1822; and a third relates to much more local journeys of only a few days to such places as Warwick, Henley in Arden, Coventry, Stourbridge, and Bromsgrove between 1822 and 1828.
The volumes also include details and accounts of the goods he sold on his travels, topographical, historical and statistical information about the places he visited, and much other incidental information. This ranges from medical and culinary recipes and other domestic and chemical formulae to acrostic poems written to celebrate such occasions as the births of his children, songs, hymns, epitaphs and sermon notes which he wrote or collected, and sketches and technical and other drawings. Some volumes also include copies of family letters which he wrote and received, and the earliest notebook contains a detailed financial account of the family and household expenditure between 1809 and 1821.