Diaries & Letters

There are all sorts of primary sources of historical information, but few can relay to us a more complete picture of the past than diaries and letters. While public records provide facts, and later history books and family histories can tell a story, the contemporaneous writers convey emotion along with both the mundane and surprising details of life on the frontier which can give us a real “feel for the place.”

This set of writings includes items both brief and lengthy: a letter (Thomas Edison), a collection of correspondence (Gustafson Family), lengthy diaries (William Parmenter), published books (John and William Bartram), to name a few. Copies of these and many more are available in the Archives.