The Center for American War Letters (CAWL) is a unique and extensive manuscript collection of previously unpublished war letters from every American conflict, beginning with handwritten missives composed during the Revolutionary War and continuing up to emails sent from Iraq and Afghanistan. These personal war-time correspondences are a vital record of the collective memory of the American people, as witnessed and articulated by service members, veterans, and their loved ones, who experienced these wars firsthand.
The Center for American War Letters is committed to the ongoing collection, preservation, and promotion of these incomparable records of the American experience through various projects and media, including:
- The production of plays and live readings throughout the United States
- Documentaries and video recordings of troops, veterans, and their families telling their stories in their own voices and/or reading their letters
- Traveling exhibits
- Articles and books that incorporate the letters
- Educational guides to assist teachers and community leaders with the interpretation of these primary sources in the classroom
- Additional materials that will encourage Americans to recognize the extraordinary historical, cultural, and literary value of these irreplaceable documents.
Ultimately, the Center will work to expand its collection and strive to become the nation’s largest and most preeminent archive of personal wartime correspondences. The Center for American War Letters is directed by Andrew Carroll.