I am transcribing and preserving–both physically and digitally–a collection of family letters written during World War II and the Korean Conflict. The process is being documented here: The Letters Project
For as long as I can remember, the letters sat in a brown, faux-alligator suitcase under my mother’s bed, until she sold her house and moved into a series of apartments and then into assisted living before her death in 2009. At some point, she put them into a plastic, lidded storage box, still in neat rows, on end, an arrangement that I think helped to preserve them. She never talked about the letters or about why she saved them, although she did identify them early enough that I have the sense I always knew what they were. For many years they have been stored under my own bed, until this summer (2012), when I began this project.