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Letters Home from Stanford: 125 Years of Correspondence

book cover

Alison Carpenter, Davis, Class of '79, Stanford University, Author, Letters Home from Stanford,

Daniel Hartwig, University Archivist, Stanford University

In this program, Alison Carpenter Davis, '79, discussed her book Letters Home from Stanford,a collection of handwritten and electronic correspondence sent home by generations of Stanford students published in February 2017.

From first letters home freshman year and firsthand accounts of historical events to questions about laundry and questions about self, Letters Home evokes a sense of the heritage, history, and shared experience common to generations of Stanford students. The collection includes a letter written the day before Stanford opens in 1891; letters from student Herbert Hoover; accounts of the first Stanford-Cal football game (where's the ball?), Jane Stanford's funeral, and the 1906 earthquake; and so much more.

Letter writers and their descendants, including longtime Stanford tennis coach Dick Gould, read correspondence from the book. Also speaking was University Archivist Daniel Hartwig, whose department collaborated with Davis on expanding the Archives' Stanford Student Letters and Memoirs Collection. Hartwig mentioned current and future opportunities for collaboration with the Stanford Archives.