Letters

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

Famed illustrator Thomas Nast designed this celebration of emancipation, with Abraham Lincoln inset at the bottom, in 1865

Black Lives Certainly Mattered to Abraham Lincoln

A look at the president's words and actions during his term shows his true sentiments on slavery and racial equality

The Temperance Society objected to the card's inclusion of a child sipping wine.

The First Commercially Printed Christmas Card Scandalized Victorian England

Two rare copies of the 1843 greeting card, which depicts a child sipping from a glass of wine, are now up for auction

Roosevelt exchanged lively correspondence with all kinds of people for much of his life.

Library of Congress Seeks Volunteers to Transcribe Letters to Theodore Roosevelt

The campaign is part of a broader crowdsourcing effort aimed at making archival materials more accessible to the public

Letters are a key part of Jane Austen's novels

A New Edition of 'Pride and Prejudice' Crosses Its T's and Dots Its I's

Barbara Heller used period handwriting—and new material—to bring the novel’s colorful letters to life

Thousands of volunteers helped transcribe the Library of Congress' Lincoln letters.

Education During Coronavirus

Read Thousands of Abraham Lincoln's Newly Transcribed Letters Online

The missives, preserved by the Library of Congress, include notes to and from the beloved president

A 1928 portrait of physicist Albert Einstein by Lotte Jacobi

Tesla's Patents, Einstein's Letters and an Enigma Machine Are Up for Auction

Christie's Eureka! sale features personal and academic objects owned by 20th-century scientists

The so-called "Letter From Heaven" was marketed as a message from Jesus himself, conveying instructions and conferring protection on those who sent them to others.

Before Chain Letters Swept the Internet, They Raised Funds for Orphans and Sent Messages From God

Recipe exchanges, poetry chains, photo challenges and other ostensibly comforting prompts are enjoying a resurgence amid the COVID-19 pandemic

loading icon