War Letters International
THE INTERNATIONAL WAR LETTERS CAMPAIGN (IWLC) is an initiative created in 2003 by the Legacy Project, an all-volunteer effort that works to seek out and preserve letters written by soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen, as well as civilians, in times of war.
The IWLC encourages veterans and their families from around the world to contribute copies of their wartime letters to respected museums, archives, and related institutions so that these personal correspondences will be safeguarded for posterity. The IWLC also intends, with the permission of those who contribute letters, to make many of these correspondences available to the public through exhibits, readings, documentaries, publications, and the internet.
The IWLC focuses on letters because of the unique insights they offer into the thoughts and feelings of those who experience war firsthand. These letters serve as a powerful reminder of the human cost of war, recording for posterity the individual voices, sacrifices, and stories of the men, women, and children most affected by major conflicts, both past and present.
The IWLC is not affiliated with any government or political organization. Its only agenda is to ensure that the world's war letters are collected and organized before they are lost or damaged.
The International War Letters Campaign is working to:
- SEEK OUT PERSONAL WAR LETTERS from any major conflict on any subject matter, including descriptions of combat, expressions of love, and insights into the emotions and day-to-day lives of men and women at war. For more information on the kinds of letters we hope to find, please click here.
- ENLIST THE SUPPORT OF PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD to further the IWLC’s mission. The IWLC does not solicit or accept monetary donations, but it does rely on the assistance of people in countries around the globe for help. Please click here for more information on our international partners.
- ENCOURAGE SCHOOLS TO USE WAR LETTERS in their curricula to teach world history in a way that makes it both personal and dramatic. The IWLC believes that, along with diaries and photographs, letters written in times of war enable people of all ages to better understand the impact of war on individuals, families, and entire nations. For a sample teacher’s guide from PBS, please click here.
- SHARE INFORMATION ON HOW TO PRESERVE WAR LETTERS. Due to the personal and private nature of war letters, many people understandably do not wish to share them with the general public. The IWLC hopes that these people will still preserve their letters within their own families so that they can be passed down from generation to generation. (Please click here for information on how to preserve war letters.)
©2003 The Legacy Project