WNPR

Preserving Our History One Letter at a Time

Dec 11, 2015

When was the last time you sent a letter? Not an email, but a real, tangible piece of mail? If your answer is "not recently," you’re not alone.

Except for the occasional birthday or holiday card, most of us haven’t sent -- or received -- good, old-fashioned snail mail in a very long time. 

Instead we text; we tweet; we post on each other’s Facebook walls. But in our quest for instant communication, have we lost touch with the joy -- the intimacy -- of handwritten correspondence?

This hour, we take a look at the history and art of letter-writing. We learn about some rare, 17th-century letters tracked down by a local historian. We also talk to the director of one of the nation's largest collections of war letters, and find out how a Toronto-based initiative is getting people to write love letters to their cities. 

GUESTS:

  • Patrick Skahill - WNPR reporter and host of The Beaker
  • Jana Dambrogio - Thomas F. Peterson conservator at MIT Libraries
  • Andrew Carroll - Director of the Center for American War Letters at Chapman University
  • Lindsay Zier-Vogel - Writer and founder of The Love Lettering Project

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John Dankosky and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.