JOURNAL (through Fr. from late Lat. diurnalis, daily), a daily record of events or business. A private journal is usually an elaborated diary. When applied to a newspaper or other periodical the word is strictly used of one published each day; but any publication issued at stated intervals, such as a magazine or the record of the transactions of a learned society, is commonly called a journal. The word “journalist” for one whose business is writing for the public press (see Newspapers) seems to be as old as the end of the 17th century.
“Journal” is particularly applied to the record, day by day, of the business and proceedings of a public body. The journals of the British houses of parliament contain an official record of the business transacted day by day in either house. The record does not take note of speeches, though some of the earlier volumes contain references to them. The journals are a lengthened account written from the “votes and proceedings” (in the House of Lords called “minutes of the proceedings”), made day by day by the assistant clerks, and printed on the responsibility of the clerk to the house, after submission to the “sub-committee on the journals.” In the Commons the journal is passed by the Speaker before publication. The journals of the House of Commons begin in the first year of the reign of Edward VI. (1547), and are complete, except for a short interval under Elizabeth. Those of the House of Lords date from the first year of Henry VIII. (1509). Before that date the proceedings in parliament were entered in the rolls of parliament, which extend from 1278 to 1503. The journals of the Lords are “records” in the judicial sense, those of the Commons are not (see Erskine May, Parliamentary Practice, 1906, pp. 201–202).
The term “journal” is used, in business, for a book in which an account of transactions is kept previous to a transfer to the ledger (see Book-keeping), and also as an equivalent to a ship’s log, as a record of the daily run, observations, weather changes, &c. In mining, a journal is a record describing the various strata passed through in sinking a shaft. A particular use of the word is that, in machinery, for the parts of a shaft which are in contact with the bearings; the origin of this meaning, which is firmly established, has not been explained.