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Letters on this Date

More letters for 21st May

Letter writing is a rich and ancient form of communication. It offers deep insights into the thoughts, feelings and experiences of people from every walk of life in a more immediate way than almost any other medium. As well as the content of letters, the set of circumstances surrounding a letter's creation, transmission and reception tells a story in itself.

Data visualisation strives to make sense of the large and complex, condensing and clarifying complicated data in a single image. It can achieve an impact that words simply cannot replicate.

Visual Correspondence uses data visualisation to makes sense of a person's life through their correspondence. Who they wrote to, who wrote to them, when and where - these flashes of detail unveil a rich narrative about people and our past through images.

As well as providing tools to visualise huge collections of correspondence, in bringing together detail on 165327 letters from 56 collections, Visual Correspondence provides a new way to explore the letters themselves. Links to the full text of the letters are provided were possible and added information helps put the letters in context. Hopefully in exploring this site, you will start to see correspondence in a new way.

Choose a collection and start to visualise