Skip to Main Content

Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: About the Collection


Research Services Archivist

Profile Photo
Sarah Coblentz
Special Collections Research Center
Margaret I. King Library


Through a National Endowment for the Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Grant awarded in 2018, the project "P.S. Write Again Soon": Revealing 200 years of the American Mosaic through the Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has focused on making available the materials in the collection through publishing of collection guides and digitization of select collections.

What is the Wade Hall Collection of American Letters?

The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters is a collection of personal papers assembled and created by a broad range of individuals that reflects the American experience over time. The collection covers over 200 years of American history, representing all fifty states. The materials discuss social, economic, religious, racial, ethnic, geographical, and professional issues; document military conflicts from the Revolutionary to the Vietnam Wars, and show the private lives of Americans.

Types of materials found in the Wade Hall Collection include:

  • Letters
  • Diaries
  • Scrapbooks
  • Newspapers
  • Photographs
  • Journals
  • Military memorabilia

Why We Have It

Wade Hall was a passionate collector and donated a significant amount of his collection to the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters relates to many archival holdings within SCRC and complements SCRC’s main areas of collecting focus including public policy, military history, gender and women’s studies, and Kentucky history.

SCRC’s commitment to providing students with experiential learning using primary sources is enhanced by the Wade Hall Collection by increasing the availability of documents on a variety of topics with a national scope. Due to the letters being written from the perspective of the everyday person, students can better relate to the materials and will be able to see themselves through this lens of first-hand struggle, fear, joy, and growth.

Views from the Wade Hall Collection of American Letters

George T. Settle letters, 1913-1916
Hiawatha Gray scrapbook, 1930-1970
Professional letters to William B. Matthews, 1918-1919
Bunnie letters to My Secret Pal Agnes H. Miller, 1937-1938
Vilmer Voyles prisoner of war diary, 1942-1943
David Bolotin letters to Jayne Weil, 1942
Philip Schneider papers, 1945, undated
Group of unidentified black men piling on top of each other, undated
Love C. Calbert correspondence, 1927-1928
Henry Heyburn letters to parents, 1943
Rowland Green Railey letters, 1899