University of Minnesota
Digitizing Immigrant Letters

Scholars about migrant correspondence

Donna Gabaccia, Sonia Cancian - "Migrant Letters Enter The Digital Age: The Digitizing Immigrant Letters Project at the IHRC"


At the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association in Boston, DIL Team Member Sonia Cancian asked present scholars to reflect briefly on migration letters digitization. Read the responses below:

"Whatever the imperfections and foibles of translation, one can now perceive, for example, the extent to which the overall structure of the vernacular immigrant letter was shared across Europe." Jennifer Eastman Attebery (Read more.)

"These letters are about relationships, which are inscribed on paper and embedded in each text. They are a dialogue between individuals in which personal relationships are maintained on paper in the absence of physical proximity." David Gerber (Read more.)

"Often strong emotional bonds were created not only between family members, spouses, and loved ones, but among people who shared specific experience." Anna D. Jaroszynska-Kirchmann (Read more.)

"Researchers, coming from a range of disciplinary perspectives, will have different research aims and different ideas about how the letter should be represented and what features should be drawn out." (Read more.) Emma Moreton


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