A few words about albums.
First girls albums appeared in Russia somewhere in the late 18th century during the ruling of Catherine the Great. Guests would write in court ladies albums things like remember-me poems, songs, autographs, oaths and declarations of love. The girls would show their albums to each other, comparing and exchanging the poems they liked. Whether there were many autographs, wishes, oaths and declarations of love in a girls album or not indicated her social success. Young girls werent shy to show their albums even to the people they hardly knew. And just about every young man felt obliged to provide in the album his home address, telephone number and e-mail address.
By the end of the 19th century this open album culture was replaced by much less communicative social behavior like that of reticent gymnasium students. Albums of that time are not as full of declarations of love as in the beginning of the century. Such an album would be kept secret, but it still had many poems and songs copied from booksmainly by the owner herself.
So, now we know that Molly was filling her album in the years when the general atmosphere tended to be unsociable.
What should we start with?
Besides poems written with ink pen, we need decorative elements for the pages. It is easier and cheaper for us to collect a herbarium than to buy something like picture postcards. And we also need 5-6 illustrations from the 19th century magazines. To decorate the album pages we collected some Zelenograd leaves and grass and also picked some violets from flower beds on Tverskaya Street which the passers-by were furious at.