Letters

A little boy (Jorge Vega) who looks up to Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) in the 2014 movie The Amazing Spider-Man 2

To Spider-Man, With Love

A new exhibition features letters children sent to the superhero’s address in Queens, where a real-life Parker family lived for decades

The New York Public Library has acquired the papers of the late literary couple Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne.

New York Public Library Acquires Joan Didion's Letters, Drafts and Notes

The archive includes 240 linear feet of papers from Didion and her husband, John Gregory Dunne

Toni Morrison, the renowned author of powerful novels about the Black experience, taught at Princeton between 1989 and 2006.

Toni Morrison's Rarely Seen Papers Will Go on View at Princeton

The university is planning a months-long series of exhibitions, programs and performances

Before changing his name to Bob Dylan, the popular singer-songwriter was Robert Zimmerman.

What Bob Dylan Wrote in His High School Love Letters

A collection of notes from the musician to his girlfriend sold for nearly $670,000 at auction

Louis Armstrong's Black & Blues explores the legendary singer and trumpet player's life and legacy.

This Rap Documentarian's Latest Subject? Louis Armstrong

Sacha Jenkins tells the jazz musician's story through rarely-seen archival footage and letters

In addition to sorting mail and manning the gift shop, the women will help keep an eye on the 1,500 penguins who live at Port Lockroy.

Meet the Four Women Who Will Run Antarctica's ‘Penguin Post Office’

Selected from 6,000 applicants, the workers will spend five months counting penguins and sending mail from the seventh continent

English writer Charles Dickens, circa 1860

Charles Dickens Was a Busy Man and a 'Mild Diva'

Eleven never-before-seen letters go on display at the Charles Dickens Museum

The ornate box was recently purchased by the National Museums of Scotland.

This Lavish Silver Box Tarnished Mary, Queen of Scots—and Contributed to Her Downfall

The controversial container played a role in the deposed monarch’s fall from favor

The letter will be sold alongside a portrait of the Russian empress on December 1.

Catherine the Great Letter Extolling the Virtues of Vaccination Is Up for Auction

The Russian empress, who was inoculated against smallpox in 1768, was an early proponent of the practice

Franklin believed a turkey killed with electricity would be tastier than one dispatched by conventional means: decapitation.

When Benjamin Franklin Shocked Himself While Attempting to Electrocute a Turkey

The statesman was embarrassed by the mishap—no doubt a murder most fowl

The fact that Osgood’s collection survives intact—or at all—is notable and perhaps inseparable from her lifelong friendship with a famous writer.

Women Who Shaped History

In 19th-Century New England, This Amateur Geologist Created Her Own Cabinet of Curiosities

A friend of Henry David Thoreau, Ellen Sewall Osgood's pursuit of her scientific passion illuminates the limits and possibilities placed on the era's women

An X-ray fluorescence scanner analyzes correspondence of Marie Antoinette and Fersen at France’s National Archives.

X-Ray Technology Reveals Marie Antoinette's Censored Secret Correspondence

A combination of the chemical analysis and advanced data processing used could reveal many more lost writings or drawings

A recently discovered portrait believed to be of Jane Strachey, English School, c.1788

What an Englishwoman's Letters Reveal About Life in Britain During the American Revolution

A new book highlights the writings of Jane Strachey, a middle-class woman whose husband worked for the famed Howe family

Finds ranged from a portrait of Adolf Hitler to a revolver, gas masks, Nazi Party badges, brass knuckles, letters and documents.

Trove of Nazi Artifacts Found Stashed in Wall of German House

Likely hidden as the Allies advanced on the city at the end of WWII, the cache includes gas masks, a revolver and boxes of documents

Plath's recipe cards and rolling pin reflect her love of cooking—and her conflicted relationship with domestic life.

Explore Sylvia Plath's Love Letters, Recipe Cards and Tarot Deck

A trove of the American poet's personal possessions recently sold at auction for more than $1 million

The letter sheds light on Jenner's beliefs about the use of cowpox and horsepox in vaccination.

Letter From 'Father of Vaccination' Edward Jenner Sold at Auction

Jenner wrote that new research 'put a stop to the sneers' of 'little minded persons'

L to R: Anna, the eldest van Gogh sister; Elisabeth, or Lies; and Willemien, the youngest, who was better known as Wil

New Book Details the Lives of Vincent van Gogh's Sisters Through Their Letters

The missives reveal that the Impressionist artist's family paid for his younger sibling's medical care by selling 17 of his paintings

Researchers suspect that a soldier and his girlfriend wrote the missives between 1941 and 1944.

Cool Finds

World War II Couple's Love Letters Found Beneath British Hotel's Floorboards

Workers discovered a trove of wartime artifacts, including chocolate wrappers, cigarette packets and correspondence

The researchers virtually opened the letters with an advanced X-ray machine. They then used computers to analyze the folds and create a readable, digital model of the unfolded message.

Art Meets Science

How Researchers Are Reading Centuries-Old Letters Without Opening Them

A new technique enables scholars to unlock the secrets of long-sealed missives

Martin Luther King Jr. and Reverend Ralph Abernathy are taken in for questioning by Birmingham police in 1962.

Cool Finds

Rare Birmingham Jail Logbook Pages Signed by MLK Resurface After Decades

Two sheets of paper from the Alabama prison where the activist penned a famous 1963 letter sold at auction for more than $130,000

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