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November 13, 2015

Signed, Sealed & Undelivered: Letters from 1689-1707

Signed, Sealed & Undelivered Letters from 1689-1707
Signed, Sealed & Undelivered is a project to digitize, preserve and transcribe at treasure trove of letters written between between 1689 and 1707. This has special significance for me personally as many of my Dutch ancestors were living in or near The Hague during this time. Perhaps one or two of the letters might be from or to one of my ancestors! 

Even if not, this is a fascinating glimpse into history and the thoughts of those living in those times.

From the website:

In 1926, a seventeenth-century trunk of letters was bequeathed to the Museum voor Communicatie in The Hague, then as now the centre of government, politics, and trade in The Netherlands. The trunk belonged to one of the most active postmasters of the day, Simon de Brienne, a man at the heart of European communication networks. It contains an extraordinary archive: 2600 letters sent from all over Europe to this axis of communication, none of which were ever delivered. The trunk freezes a moment in history, allowing us to glimpse the early modern world as it went about its daily business. The letters are uncensored, unedited, and 600 of them even remain unopened. The archive itself has remained virtually untouched by historians until it was recently rediscovered. Our international and interdisciplinary team of researchers has now begun a process of digitization, preservation, transcription, and editing that will reveal its secrets for the first time – even, we hope, those of the unopened letters.

Read more at A postal ‘piggybank’ from the 17th century sheds light on the culture of that time

Image credit:  Signed, Sealed & Undelivered

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