How are you communicating with your family and friends today? Phone calls? Email? Video chats?
Imagine being stuck at home and having to wait for a handwritten letter to arrive in the mail instead!
Check out this week’s history post by clicking the letter below and take a look back at various forms of communication, including letter writing.
In this time of isolation, telephones and computers are incredibly important, but don’t discount the humble letter! Letters are important resources for historians trying to piece together how people lived in the past. Phone conversations and video chats are generally not preserved and text messages don’t delve into the details of everyday life as thoroughly as an entire letter.
Think about what you text your friends and family. Now, write them a letter instead. Did you write about the same things you would have texted or emailed, or is your letter more detailed, more personal?
Our mailboxes today are filled with magazines, bills, and junk mail. Wouldn’t you love to reach in and pull out a letter instead? So this week we’re challenging you to write a letter. It could be to a friend or family member detailing how your week was, a letter of appreciation to all the essential workers keeping us safe and fed, a letter to someone in the future about what you are experiencing in this unusual time, or a letter to us!
Rules of the Letter Writing Challenge:
1) Write About Your Experiences! It can be a simple letter or a journal entry, perhaps a communication with a friend or family member. Want to get creative with it? Try and mimic the language of a 19th century letter, and imagine how they might communicate about this time period (bonus points if you can use some slang from the time).
2) Record It! Take pictures of your letter or scan it into a document.
3) Send It! Mail the letter to the intended recipient. You could also take this time to thank a first responder you might know, or send it directly to the Museum for documentation!
4) Share it With Us! Post your letter in the comments section of this blog or go on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, tag the Cayuga Museum and add these hashtags to your post: #museumfromhome #museumathome #nysmuseums #SupportCayuga #MuseumInExile
We are also happy to officially announce that we are actively collecting your stories to create a contemporary historical record of our community’s experience in this time!