Browse Exhibits (3 total)

Everyday Writing's Impact in WWII Letters

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The Institute on World War II and the Human Experience is an extensive set of collections housed at the campus of Florida State University. The institute collects letters, diaries, memorabilia and other comparable items in order to index them in a fashion conducive to research. More importantly, the institute is committed to preserving to histories of the individuals that created each artifact.

Their artifacts are unique samples of everyday writing because they reflect a specific period in world history. Phone lines where extremely unreliable so letters became the primary form of education between the soldiers and their loved ones. It is important to realize that despite being such a common form of communication, the letters still conformed to some traditional conventions. These everyday writings reveal the emotional struggles of the author. More importantly these struggles where shared by thousands of other soldiers also.

This analysis involves the investigation of three letters all written in 1945, during the ending year of the war. Each account provides insight into how the war shaped the psyche of the individual, representative of many more. The first letter by Sidney Rochelson exemplifies how some simply ignored the emotional difficulties and told no one of the atrocities. Wayne Coloney reveals another societal trend, anger and desensitization towards the enemy. Lastly, John portrays a man on the brink of defeat, desperately clinging to the thought of his wife Betty for motivation to continue. Each letter illustrates a common form of coping during this period, even though none of these concepts are directly discussed in the texts. Analyzing everyday writing sheds light onto society in areas not directly mentioned by the authors. 

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Summer Camp Chronicles: Everyday Writing from Camper to Counselor

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This exhibit is an in depth anthology cataloguing the writing involved in summer camp; from being a camper to a counselor. In places where technology is almost nonexistent, the writing of summer camp forms the core bonds between the people there and functions as the main form of communication. Everyday writing is the crucial infrastructure for any summer camp to operate, whether it’s getting things done on site or keeping kids connected to their families and “the outside world” everyday writing is an everyday practice over the summer. This exhibit includes letters, notes, schedules, plane tickets, and much more. It serves to bring a sense of nostalgia to a digital age. In today’s world tweeting, texting, em ails, and the internet in general takes over daily life to a point where everyday writing has become something people don’t recognize because it’s turned into second nature. Taking thetime to disconnect by choice or by force brings everyday writing into the forefront of people’sminds because it’s turns the necessity to communicate back into a process that takes time ratherthan an instant message.

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Handwritten Texts and Familial Love

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This is a gallery based exhibit meant to showcase how everyday writing is a part of how family members express their love for each other. The artifacts include letters, scrapbooks, and other forms of everyday writing created out of the love for family. This exhibit is also focused on how familial love is expressed through cards in particular, and why even in our digital age these texts are seen and held with more value than other forms of communication. 

I was inspired to create this exhibit when I considered how everyday writing is an almost universal aspect of living in modern American culture. I wanted to connect the widespread nature of everyday writing to another ubiquitous topic, and I couldn't think of anything better than the love people hold for their families. It is this deep love for family that inspires countless people to both create texts for and save artifacts from their loved ones everyday. I feel the writer of smallnotebook.org captures the feelings of many very well: "Be sure the things you are saving are about you and your family. You don’t need to save the program from a friend’s wedding ceremony just to prove you care about her. That belongs in her keepsake box, not yours." (smallnotebook.org)

It is in this spirit that I put together this exhibit. It is my hope that by saving these artifacts related to the bonds between several different families, the love they represent will outlast both the original documents and creators. I want this exhibit to be a "keepsake box" for multiple families. I also want to make a point about the importance of everyday writing in areas of our life that we may not intially associate with everyday writing.

Cited source: http://smallnotebook.org/2012/09/10/what-to-do-with-neutral-or-negative-keepsakes/ (Neutral Keepsakes)

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