World War II Letters Project

Honors U.S. History class (4th period) began a project this week called the World War II Letters Project.

Sometime last summer I acquired a box of WW2-era letters written by Levi Kinsel to Rose Kinsel, both San Diegans. The letters were dated 1938-1946.

In addition to the letters, the wooden box is filled with pictures and other important documents, including a bible and military discharge papers.

Our class goal is to develop a personality profile of Mr. Levi Kinsel, based upon the written evidence in the letters he had written to his wife Mrs. Rose Kinsel, and to setup an online database of the correspondences with images and mood analysis.

The letters are sometimes challenging to decipher for a few reasons. One reason is they are written in cursive, and many of the students are unfamiliar with that writing style. In addition to the colloquial words and phrases, these letters are quite fragile and many are written with pencil, which tends to fade over time.

We are using Google Docs, Sheets and Forms to compile our archive. We created document handlers and data input specialists for the project. Each researcher uses their own personal device to manage and input the content.

We hope to use two weeks in our teams to complete the entire project.

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