Historically important and interesting letters from various times in history. Transcribed and presented with accompanying research and images.

Katharine Hepburn’s Letters to Sal: 140 Personal Notes from 1980-1997

We recently acquired an enchanting collection of 140 letters that the iconic Katharine Hepburn sent to a friend named Sal between 1980-1997. Across seventeen years of correspondence, Hepburn’s notes delightfully reveal her personality and approach to friendship. Hepburn was ahead of her time in communication style. Many of her short, […]

Letter from On Board the Titanic the Day It Hit the Iceberg

This is the only known letter from on board the Titanic that was dated April 15, 1912 – the date the Titanic struck the iceberg. The letter is written by Esther Hart, a second class passenger, and mother of Eva Hart who famously wrote “Shadow of the Titanic”. Esther, her […]

Titanic Survivor’s Letter Describing the Disaster

This letter was written by Titanic survivor Nellie Walcroft shortly after she arrived in New York. Nellie was a second class passenger aboard the Titanic. Over three pages, she describes the tragedy in detail. The letter reads: My dearest Clara, Just a line or two just to let you know […]

Letter from Macy’s Owner Shortly Before Boarding Titanic

Isidor Straus, owner of the Macy’s Department Store on New York’s Herald Square, sent this letter from London on April 5, 1912. Remarkably, he notes that “we sail for home on the steamer “Titanic” leaving Southampton April 10th”.

Letter Recovered from the Body of Titanic Victim

This April 13, 1912 letter was found on the body of First Class passenger¬†Alexander Oskar Holverson. Holverson, a successful salesman, had been on a vacation with his wife in Buenos Aires. Mrs. Holverson was rescued but Mr. Holverson perished in the disaster. This letter bears the distinction of being the […]

Letter by Titanic Bandleader Wallace Hartley

This remarkable letter was sent from on board the Titanic on April 10, 1912 by Wallace Hartley, the courageous Titanic bandleader who led the band as they continued to play until the ship’s final moments. Hartley penned this letter to his parents on the first day of Titanic’s voyage. The […]

Letter of Gratitude by the Unsinkable Molly Brown Aboard the S.S. Carpathia

This letter was written aboard the S.S. Carpathia on April 16, 1912 by three female survivors of the Titanic disaster. The letter is a resolution expressing appreciation to the crew of the Carpathia for their actions. The top signatory on the letter is Margaret Brown, better known as “The Unsinkable […]