Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Estate Sale Chronicles EXTRA: War Letters

Regular readers of this blog may remember that I've written several times about finding war-related letters, diaries and photographs at estate sales.

Collection of World War II letters to an American serviceman,
found at an estate sale

If you're interested in American history and storytelling, here are some interesting links you can check out.

May 2014 AARP Magazine interactive article by Andrew Carroll:


Andrew Carroll, editor of the New York Times bestsellers War Letters and Behind the Lines, was inspired to seek out and preserve wartime correspondences after a fire destroyed all of his family’s possessions. He recently donated his entire collection of 100,000 war letters to Chapman University in Orange, Calif.

"The Allies have the Germans on the run again... Pray God, this war is soon over."

The Center for American War Letters at Chapman University in Orange, California:


The Center for American War Letters (CAWL) is a unique and extensive manuscript collection of previously unpublished war letters from every American conflict, beginning with handwritten missives composed during the Revolutionary War and continuing up to emails sent from Iraq and Afghanistan. These personal war-time correspondences are a vital record of the collective memory of the American people, as witnessed and articulated by service members, veterans, and their loved ones, who experienced these wars firsthand.

The Center for American War Letters is committed to the ongoing collection, preservation, and promotion of these incomparable records of the American experience through various projects and media, including:

-- The production of plays and live readings throughout the United States

-- Documentaries and video recordings of troops, veterans, and their families telling their stories in their own voices and/or reading their letters

-- Traveling exhibits

-- Articles and books that incorporate the letters

-- Educational guides to assist teachers and community leaders with the interpretation of these primary sources in the classroom

-- Additional materials that will encourage Americans to recognize the extraordinary historical, cultural, and literary value of these irreplaceable documents.

Ultimately, the Center will work to expand its collection and strive to become the nation’s largest and most preeminent archive of personal wartime correspondences. The Center for American War Letters is directed by Andrew Carroll.

From the World War I diary of a soldier with the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in France

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