John Stevens Cooper Family Papers, PC.2190: Featuring a Soldier’s Letters to Wife Left in Charge of the Farm, Family, and Slaves, 1863–1865 (State Archives of North Carolina)

State Archives of North Carolina: John Stevens Cooper Family Papers, PC.2190: Featuring a Soldier’s Letters to Wife Left in Charge of the Farm, Family, and Slaves, 1863–1865. “The John Stevens Cooper Family Papers (PC.2190) are remarkable for the series of letters from John to his wife, Elizabeth, while he served in the Confederate military in 1863 and 1864. This correspondence sheds light on John’s recognition of the fact that, in his absence, Elizabeth knew what was best for managing their farm and slaves. His letters further illuminate his homesickness, his lack of faith in the Southern cause, and, in two notable instances, his desolation upon encountering the enemy.”

Columbia Missourian: SHSMO concludes digitalizing World War II letter collection

Columbia Missourian: SHSMO concludes digitalizing World War II letter collection. “Staffers and volunteers at the State Historical Society of Missouri finished the almost four-year process this month, according to a SHSMO press release. The selection contains texts written by more than 3,000 people, men and women, from every state of the country. They were transcribed and scanned to the SHSMO website with the goal of making the work of researchers, scholars and visitors easier.”

France24: Marie-Antoinette and lover’s censored letters deciphered

France24: Marie-Antoinette and lover’s censored letters deciphered. “Love letters between the ill-fated French queen Marie-Antoinette and her lover, which contain key passeges rendered illegible by censor marks, have been deciphered using new techniques, the French National Archives said on Wednesday. The revealed passages are further confirmation of the steamy relationship between Marie-Antoinette and Count de Fersen, who were writing to each other two years after the 1789 French revolution.”

CNET: As jails and prisons face coronavirus, a new app tries to bridge the mail gap

CNET: As jails and prisons face coronavirus, a new app tries to bridge the mail gap. “More than half of all Americans have had a family member in jail or prison, according to a 2018 survey. Yet the cost of making phone calls with prisoners has skyrocketed, leaving families to bear the burden of hefty fees to get critical information past prison walls. Even sending mail to a prisoner can become expensive to families in need. Amid the urgent COVID-19 crisis in jails and prisons, a nonprofit tech company is stepping up to help bridge the communications gap between those behind bars and their loved ones outside.”

Smithsonian: The Unprecedented Effort to Preserve a Million Letters Written by U.S. Soldiers During Wartime

Smithsonian: The Unprecedented Effort to Preserve a Million Letters Written by U.S. Soldiers During Wartime. “Andrew Carroll is never far away from the slim black portfolio he calls ‘the football.’ Inside are more than two dozen original letters, creased and faded, bullet-torn and tear-stained, spanning 225 years of American war history, from the early days of the Revolution to 9/11. Each page is sheathed in a protective plastic sleeve, and for added security, there are the handcuffs. Carroll locks the case to his wrist when he travels, which he does almost constantly. By his own count, he was on the road almost 200 days last year, using this remarkable sampling of letters to convince anyone who will listen how important—and ephemeral—such documents are. It’s all part of the historian’s ambitious effort to rescue these eyewitness accounts from attics, basements, garage sales and trash bins.”

The Guardian: Letters shed light on lovelorn prince who became George IV

The Guardian: Letters shed light on lovelorn prince who became George IV. “Mary Hamilton’s advantages ‘in form and person’ over other women are eulogised in detail by the lovelorn Prince of Wales in a newly digitised letter. The revealing, magniloquent letter is one of more than 1,600 records and documents relating to George IV from the Royal Archives published online for the first time.”

SooToday: Digitized letters explore life at residential school

SooToday: Digitized letters explore life at residential school. “The Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) is preserving documentation of daily life in the Shingwauk and Wawanosh residential schools through its Healing and Education Through Digital Access project. A total of 10 letter books spanning a period from 1876 to 1904 were digitized, which include letters from residential school principals Edward F. Wilson and George L. King, which were intended for government officials, church representatives and students, among others.”

WTOP: Holocaust Museum digitizing letters from Anne Frank’s father

WTOP: Holocaust Museum digitizing letters from Anne Frank’s father. “Ryan Cooper was a 20-something Californian unsure of his place in the world when he struck up a pen pal correspondence in the 1970s with Otto Frank, the father of the young Holocaust victim Anne Frank. Through dozens of letters and several face-to-face meetings, the two forged a friendship that lasted until Frank died in 1980 at the age of 91.”

Worldcrunch: Facebook For Felons? New Apps Are A Digital Lifeline For Inmates

Worldcrunch: Facebook For Felons? New Apps Are A Digital Lifeline For Inmates. “Pigeonly is one of at least three apps — all launched by ex-cons— that are revolutionizing communications between prisoners and their loved ones. Even as the outside world has embraced texting, video chats and social media, U.S. prisons have largely remained technological dead zones, where inmates typically wait in line and pay to use antiquated computers running stripped-down email services. The trio of apps are slowly but surely disrupting a prison communications industry dominated by a handful of companies with little incentive to cut prices or boost services for the 2.3 million people behind bars.”

Patheos: New Social Media Site Aims To Promote Thoughtful And Nuanced Conversations

Patheos: New Social Media Site Aims To Promote Thoughtful And Nuanced Conversations. “Letter is a new website that rewards thoughtful discussion and hosts a variety of conversations. People write ‘letters’ back and forth to each other in a long style format. So anyone can read a variety of nuanced conversations happening on a variety of topics, but you don’t have to worry about trolls getting in and ruining the discussion.” Took a brief look at the site. What I saw I really liked, but there wasn’t a lot of content available yet.

University of Michigan: Historical Letters In U-M Zoology Museum Archive Highlight Links Between Specimen Collection, Conservation

University of Michigan: Historical Letters In U-M Zoology Museum Archive Highlight Links Between Specimen Collection, Conservation . “Clark Schmutz spent more than 100 hours last semester reading and digitally scanning hundreds of letters in the correspondence files of the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology’s mammal collections, which date back to the 1800s. The scanning project is a multiyear effort to make the museum’s correspondence files available online. For Schmutz, who graduated in December with a double major in English and ecology, evolution and biodiversity, it was also an opportunity to search for intriguing stories that illustrate the links between museum collections and conservation.”

San Diego State University: SDSU Library Archive Details Detainee’s Path to Seeking Asylum, Conditions Inside Detention

San Diego State University: SDSU Library Archive Details Detainee’s Path to Seeking Asylum, Conditions Inside Detention. “What began as a casual gathering of friends has become a first-of-its-kind living archive of handwritten letters shared by hundreds of asylum seekers detained along the U.S.-Mexico border. Those letters, in the collective correspondence, provide a detailed description of each person’s path to pursuing asylum, and the conditions inside detention centers.”

Ars Technica: How do you preserve beloved New Orleans folk art? A Web font, of course

Ars Technica: How do you preserve beloved New Orleans folk art? A Web font, of course. “Few if any cities value local culture as much as New Orleans, but even the Crescent City has to navigate modern realities of change. And as new residents move in or new businesses replace old ones, some beloved bits of the city’s artistic fabric occasionally need intentional preservation. Case in point: the work of Lester Carey.”

Emory University: Locate Samuel Beckett letters online in over 25 American literary archives

Emory University: Locate Samuel Beckett letters online in over 25 American literary archives. “Emory University announces the debut of The Location Register of the Letters of Samuel Beckett in American Public Archives, an open-access website listing the archival descriptions and locations of the letters of the Irish Nobel laureate Samuel Beckett. Users can browse the Location Register by recipient, physical description, sender and recipient addresses, language, repository, collection and previous publication.”