Transcribing family correspondence

This site will be used to document the project of transcribing and preserving a collection of letters written by my father to my mother while he was in the military, between approximately 1942-45.

There are 349 letters, all but a few, maybe 10 or fewer, in their original envelopes. Time will tell if some of the loose leaves belong in any of the envelopes in the collection. A large number were addressed to my mother’s maiden name, and then the later ones to her married name.

My mother kept the letters in a brown suitcase under her bed for as long as I can remember, and I would occasionally open it and look at them, but never opened or read them, and they were not discussed. At some later point, probably when she sold her house and moved into an apartment, she put them in the plastic storage box where they now reside. It has a loose top and is not airtight, so they do not seem to have been damaged by heat or moisture, as far as I can tell now.

Before I can take them out of their envelopes, I need to acquire a lot of archival storage materials, boxes, acid-free paper to interleave the letters in files or folders or polyester sleeves. I have looked at these things and not yet decided on the best method of storage.

I will be transcribing them into Microsoft Word files, using a system of documentation using codes in headers. I have not decided, yet, if they can or should be photocopied, but I will have to see the condition of the paper and writing first, and I want to do the transcriptions first.

This is my summer project.

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