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Monday, December 7, 2015

World War II Primary Sources on Montana Memory

It’s D-Day—so I thought I’d share a link to the Peggy Letters, one of my favorite collections on the Montana Memory Project, Montana's version of the Library of Congress's American Memory Project.

The Peggy Letters are “newsletters written by the Miles City branch of American Women’s Voluntary Services (AWVS) from late 1942 until early 1946. The newsletters were sent to every service man and woman from Miles City, Custer County, and neighboring areas for whom they had addresses to keep them abreast of events at home while they were serving in the military. The AWVS chose “Peggy” as a pseudonym: several AWVS women took turns writing the newsletters.” The collection has the newsletters—but also letters that “service men and women wrote back to ‘Peggy’.” 

P.S. Montana Memory is working hard to become more user friendly and has just posted a series of 2 to 5 minute instructional videos on everything from to view a document, how to use audio files, and how to create a PowerPoint to advance search techniques. In terms of finding material, I still find it easiest to go straight to collections I know about (which is why I am going to be featuring specific items and collections over the next few months). This is the second in the series. The first featured the hundreds of Evelyn Cameron and L. A. Huffman photos the Montana Historical Society Photo Archives recently added to the digital archives. If you have a favorite collection (or item) on Montana Memory, let me know and I’ll share it to the list. 

P.P.S.Our new lesson plan, Reader's Theater: Letters Home from Montanans at War, features excerpts of several World War II letters. It also includes links to the Montana Memory Project, including to a letter John Harrison wrote from Germany on May 14, 1945, informing his family of his brother Bob's death. 

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