The Henry Wight Diman collection is made up of correspondence (55 items), a diary, school essays (37 items), personal reading lists (7 items), and photographs (4 items) related to Diman, a graduate of Brown University who later became United States Consul to Portugal.
The Correspondence series (55 items) contains incoming and outgoing letters related to Henry Wight Diman, including many that he wrote and received while attending Brown University in the early 1850s. His most frequent correspondents were his brother, J. Lewis Diman, and his father, Byron Diman, who wrote from Newport and Bristol, Rhode Island. Henry Diman wrote about his college experiences and his leisure activities in Providence. Other correspondence includes letters to Henry Wight Diman from his cousin, Georgia Alden, a letter that he wrote to his father about his travels on the "Great Western Road" (April 21, 1856), and letters that he wrote while living and traveling in Portugal (August 1, 1864) and Morocco (April 10, 1865). In one undated letter, Henry's cousin Fannie commented on her anticipation of the end of the Civil War and her work at a military hospital.
The Diary belonged to Henry Wight Diman's mother, Abby Alden Wight Diman, who wrote daily entries between January 1, 1843-March 27, 1843. She discussed her social life, family news, church attendance, and other daily activities, such as the family's attendance at medical lectures from January 2-4.
The Essays series (37 items) contains academic essays that Henry Wight Diman composed while attending school in Bristol, Rhode Island, and Brown University. The early writings, written in the mid-1840s, are primarily descriptive. Diman's later compositions, particularly those from his collegiate studies, concern literature, Roman history, German history, British history, death, and the plays of William Shakespeare. Diman wrote a satirical piece entitled "The Cow Convention" for the [Bristol?] Phoenix (undated). The series includes a list of essay subjects for the 1854 spring term at Brown University.
The Book Lists series (7 items) concerns suggested readings in science, history, religion, travelogues, and biography. Others concern poetry, drama, and novels. One item is a list of books that Henry Wight Diman owned in 1840.
The Photographs series is comprised of 4 cartes-de-visite taken in Porto, Portugal, in the mid-1860s. Two portray Henry Wight Dimon in 1864 and 1865, and 2 depict Portuguese women.